Towards a Reappraisal of Colonialism: The Life Of Sir Alan Burns

In the modern Western, especially English-speaking, world in which “critical theory” (lower case!), i.e., “any philosophical approach that seeks emancipation for human beings and actively works to change society in accordance with human needs” has largely replaced empirical research in the Humanities; knowledge has been for the most part reduced to subjective opinion. Descriptive analysis has been supplanted by prescriptive dogma.

From this cesspool of learned ignorance, inter alia influenced by notions of “knowledge and power” (le savoir-pouvoir), espoused by the French intellectual chameleon Michel Foucault, modern “critical theories” (on race, gender, etc.) have become dominant. In the current caliginous academic world, driven on by publish-or-perish, hermetic peer review and the ability to churn out innumerable “scholarly” journals, this has becoming something of a thriving industry on campuses, and increasingly in everyday life. One of the hallmark publications of this was Edward Said’s famous work Orientalism (for a concise rebuttal of Said, there is the work by Buruma and Margalit). Based on this and patterned after Foucault’s post-modernism, the discipline of “post-colonialism” or “decolonial theory” emerged. One definition is that it “is a title coined to describe the intellectual work articulating a broad rejection of Western European supremacy by colonial/racial subjects.”

Simply put, this activism disguised as science ascribes all the ills of what is generally known as the “Third World” to the colonial activities of European powers. As this work is largely idea(l) driven, all manner of “evidence” can be herded to prove the previously established thesis. This, as the French public intellectual Michel Onfray has shown in in his recent book L’Art d’être français : Lettres à de jeunes philosophes (“Lettre 6—Sur l’islamo-gauchisme;” Islamo-leftism, another postcolonial discourse which reintroduces pre-revolutionary theocracy), like all such “critical theories,” works on the same scheme: essentializing [i.e. oversimplification], the liberal application of Godwin’s law, verbosity, exaggeration, denial and amalgamation—lumping together antithetical groups of victims and perpetrators, real or imagined. When one looks at the world today, especially the in the former European colonies, one cannot but be heartbroken, in many instances. The question is whether such “colonialism” lies at the root of these countries’ desperate state?

The book under review here, The Last Imperialist. Sir Alan Burns’ Epic Defense of the British Empire is, to present my conclusion first, a well-researched and fact-driven antidote to the popular and populist mythography of modern theorists. The author, Professor Bruce Gilley, perhaps best known in the field of Colonial Studies for his (in)famous article, “The case for colonialism” (Third World Quarterly, 2017), is to be commended for this well-written vindication of the British Empire, what it was and what it wasn’t. This biographical tour-de-force shares the same to-the-point literary gusto as the books written by the Sir Alan Burns, Gilley’s subject. Gilley, like Burns himself, prefers intellectual honesty to going with the languid flow.

It should be note here that this book is not a whitewash of colonialism. It is a realistic portrayal of many aspects of the last six or seven decades of the British Empire, based on the career of one of its major proponents, who held numerous key positions in various parts of it. The book opens with an ironic epilogue—Sir Alan Burns at the end of his career, learning of the death of his old adversary in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), Dr. Joseph B. Danquah, dying in prison as a political prisoner of Kwame Nkrumah’s regime.

Sir Alan Cuthbert Maxwell Burns, of Scottish descent, was born in Basseterre (Saint Kitts) in 1887. His family and early life on the multiracial and multiethnic Island, and his schooling in England. On p. 19 it is noted that Burns considered his limited formal education to be an advantage: “a strong character and sound common sense are far more valuable assets to a colonial official than the most brilliant academic distinctions;” university produced young colonial officials who were “full of zeal and theory” but lacking in what he considered most important “unlimited patience and a real sympathy for the people among whom the young officer will work.”

The book goes on to describe his further career, from his own writings and those of his colleagues and opponents, initially in the Caribbean and later largely in West Africa. We see here a man who took his posts seriously, having a genuine interest in the people and places he served. This can be seen in many of his publications, such as the Nigeria Handbook which first appeared in 1917 and was appreciated especially by the indigenous population (p. 60). Later, from 1924 on, as Colonial Secretary of the Bahamas, Gilley eloquently describes the realities of life, balancing local and international interests (especially rumrunning into the United States of the Prohibition Era), encouraging and when necessary, goading the local parliament to do their duty and take responsibility. Here, he also produced the first accurate map of the Bahamas. When he left in 1929, his empathy and administrative skills were praised by all.

His next posting, until 1934, was as Deputy Chief Secretary to the Government of Nigeria. Throughout the book, we see how Burns adapted to new situations, especially the tide of growing nationalist sentiments after World War I. We see what the British Empire was and wasn’t, e.g., p. 91: “It has been the policy of British colonial administrations to build up a national consciousness which would one day make it possible to give independence to a united country.” The language may seem dated, but not the will to do good. On p. 92, we read: “With all its imperfections, European government in Asia and Africa has given to the native inhabitants of the tropics greater personal liberty and economic opportunity than they have ever enjoyed before.” Among the challenges Burns faced were occasional uprisings, often to do with the challenges caused by modernity; and the protestors or rebels can, historically speaking, hardly be seen as early forms of anti-colonial resistance, as they are often depicted in modern postcolonial historiography. It is clear that the ruled also saw advantage in British rule—had there indeed been popular opposition, it would have been no match for the always short understaffed British, especially during the Great War, when only a bare skeleton administration remained—or perhaps we must suppose that mass Stockholm syndrome is a defining aspect of colonialism?

Throughout the book, the voices of the governed, the alleged victims come to word in a balanced fashion, such as Ahmadu Bello (p. 92) “The was no ill-will after the occupation. We were used to conquerors and these were different; they were polite and obviously out to help us rather than themselves;” Chinua Achebe (p. 93) “Let us give the devil his due: colonialism in Africa disrupted many things, but it did create big political units where there were scattered ones before.”

Among Burn’s activities in this period was his pioneering work History of Nigeria (1st ed. 1929) later deemed “tainted colonial historiography,” and the foundation of the Lagos Public Library in 1932. Here Gilley notes (p. 95): “Along with the drawing of maps, the creation of libraries is another colonial endeavor that has been scorned by later critics as devious and wicked. Having first imposed an alien conception on the outer geography of place, the colonialists next implanted an alien conception on the inner geography of the mind. Such libraries were intended, the critics allege, to create a pro-colonial native elite that would perpetuate European rule and train a literate work force to boost colonial profits. All those elderly lady volunteers affixing labels and dusting stacks are transformed by such works into powerful agents of imperial reach as they assist Africans to sign out copies of Baudelaire. ‘The violence of the library’ and ‘conceptual contamination’ are stock phrases. The effect of colonial libraries was to ‘dismember the dynamism and effectiveness of the oral tradition,’ one alarmed scholar complained. ‘Library colonialism remains one of the most hidden but deadly instruments of neo-colonialism’ he warned. On those quiet shelves ‘the malignant influences of Western civilization are diffused among literate Africans like invisible bubbles of air.’”

The next step is of course the burning of books, such as practiced in Canada as a “purification par la flamme,” led by a self-invented Indian, Suzy Kies. This alleged incarnation of colonial evil, Burns himself noted (p. 97): “We do not try to assimilate the colonial peoples, nor to turn them into imitation Scotsmen—or even Englishmen—but to help them develop a higher civilization of their own, soundly based on their own traditional institutions and culture.”

Thereafter, follow accounts of Burns’ next posting in British Honduras (Belize), 1934-1939, a stagnant backwater of the Empire when he arrived. His major activities here were road building, rediscovering the Mayan past which “offered a potential source of meaning and a unity for a place that had long been dismissed as nothing more than a timber settlement” (p. 107), including the founding of a national museum. Here, again, he worked to reform and make local government more effective and fairer. Upon his departure, again his achievements were hailed by even his most stern critics.

The beginning of the war found him in England, where he helped to broker the “Destroyers-for-bases deal.” From 1942 to 1947, he was back in Nigeria, installing, in 1946, a new, more democratic constitution with an African majority. Here, in 1943, transpired what would be the defining moment in Burns’ career, the ritual “Ju-Ju” murder.

The tides were however turning, Britain after the War had lost its desire for Empire, this murder case demonstrated the British government’s changing attitude. While the ruled, who had no taste for being the victims of such murderous rituals, demanded and expected justice, the rulers were hesitant; cultural relativism was coming of age, as Gilley notes (p. 179f.): “Not for the first time, Western progressives who claimed to speak on behalf of the Third World were contradicted by actual existing Third World people.” This seems to have been a turning point for Burns, who now increasingly went on record as a staunch defender of the Empire (p. 172): “The ‘tyranny’ of European rule has replaced tyrannies less bearable… In the past we have made many mistakes in our colonial administration and we will probably make many more in the future, but against our mistakes we can set a record of achievement which has not been excelled by any nation in the world, and on balance we have nothing to be ashamed of.” The historical reality is that more often than not, the British had been asked (sometimes repeatedly before they agreed) to govern by indigenous peoples. As Gilley notes (p. 172) “most colonialism was done by colonials.”

From 1947 until his retirement in 1956 Burns served as Permanent Representative of the UK on the United Nations Trusteeship Council. This is arguably the most relevant section of the book for understanding the present situation. The world mood after the Second World War was decidedly “anti-colonial.” The Trusteeship Council, originally mandated to oversee the trust territories, largely former mandates of the League of Nations, or territories taken from nations defeated at the end of World War II, to self-government or independence, but which also sought to decolonize the remaining “empires” (mainly Britain, France, Portugal and Belgium). Gilley notes (p.195): “The more important question is whether the UN adequately prepared colonies for independence. On this issue, scholars have been silent for an obvious reason: the failure of the UN to direct its attention to the post-colonial future was an inexcusable mistake, arguably a crime against humanity that the body continues to celebrate. Under the growing influence of anti-colonial voices, the UN became what one scholar called a “decolonization machine,” more concerned with ending colonialism than with the lives left behind. It was a mistake that Sir Alan Burns would try to avoid.” Here we see an excellent portrayal of how questions of good governance became overshadowed by emotive racial questions. The grandstanding professing the evils of colonialism was led by countries such as the Soviet Union, Yemen, Egypt, India or the Philippines whose democratic credentials were (and are) somewhat wanting (p. 219): “It is notorious that the most severe criticism comes from the representatives of countries where the administration is most corrupt, the treatment of minorities or the working classes is the most discriminatory, and the constitution so unstable that it is shaken by frequent revolutions.”

The mythical American “anti-colonial” attitudes and policies are also discussed, who saw in every self-proclaimed liberator another George Washington. These countries often insisted on a prescribed timetable (as was the case for the Trusteeships, which as with Somalia was an utter failure) for independence. Burns noted that in determining when a colony was ready for independence (p. 209f.): “There are not enough astrologers assigned to the UN for this task.” The question was as Gilley notes here: “What if the people of a colony did not want a timetable? Would it be undemocratic to force one upon them? Who exactly spoke for colonial peoples: coffee-house radicals in London, Soviet stooges at the UN or the elected native representatives of colonial legislatures? Part of the hypocritical incoherency of the UN policy at this time was the definition of what constituted a ‘colony.’ The criterium was the ‘salt-water fallacy,’ only colonialism overseas was considered ‘colonialism,’ expansion over land was seen as “nation-building” (p. 217f.)—ergo the Soviet Union with its Warsaw Pact Satellite states was not seen as colonial. That France and Portugal also saw their overseas empires as parts of their country did not count; the Belgians (Flemish, Germans and Walloons) noted logically that it would only be right if every UN member would be open to scrutiny for all groups ruled by a particular country (“Belgian Thesis” p. 218).

Having left the UN thoroughly fed up, Burns undertook further missions, such as in Fiji and in the Caribbean. He and his wife were back in Basseterre in 1967 when the new union of St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla were formed. The latter did not like the arrangement and demanded the reinstatement of British colonial rule (p. 259), forming a republic two years later, once their request had been turned down.

The tide had however turned for good. Decolonization was pursued on an international level, its proponents as Burns noted (p. 222) were “less concerned with the welfare of the indigenous inhabitants than with the spread of ideological propaganda.” History speaks for itself. Rushed independence—due more to the fact that the now defeatist colonial powers themselves jumped ship rather than mythical freedom fighters who often metamorphosed into butchers—had “virtually guaranteed failure in many places at the costs of hundreds of thousands of lives.”

But post-independence failures, famines, wars, rigged elections, refugee crises etc. are faded out while colonial atrocities, real or imagined, are highlighted, (p. 261): “Alan [Burns] noted that more people had been killed by police firing on riotous mobs in independent India than in the entire period of the Raj—this before the worst violence of the 1970s and 1980s.” Burns noted correctly that (p. 262) it does no good to bend over backwards in avoiding any reference to these things. [Recovery] can only be retarded by a refusal to face the facts or to recognize that everything is not lovely in the garden of independence.” As for these states “until they are prepared to admit their own responsibility for much that has gone wrong, they will not be able to correct the mistakes and to achieve the status which all their friends wish them to attain.”

It is clear that neither Sir Alan Burns nor his defense of the British Empire can be deemed racist, patronizing or the like. He was a dedicated civil servant, devoted to both the Empire and the people it ruled. His goal was not a Tausendjähriges Reich or a dictatorship of the proletariat (both as the book notes, idealized by many colonial nationalists) or some other such ill-conceived utopian dream, but rather, though imperfectly achieved, to lead the ruled to self-rule of their own making, within the confines of inescapable modernity. Although many of his colleagues, as he often complained to London, were not up to his standard, others were.

In conclusion, we hope that this book will contribute to a recalibration of the debate on colonialism and the British Empire in particular. Not to nostalgia for what is no more (and probably never was). Merely to an empirical, fact-based understanding. The fate of many former colonies is indeed determined for a large part by how long and how well they were governed. This can be seen especially in the presence (or lack thereof) of true civil society (not imported neo-colonial NGOs), the building block of democracy. South American states continued and some continue to pursue Spanish colonial exploitation, Haiti’s long independence has not been especially beneficial to its population. Countries that were never colonized, such as China have no real democratic institutions. The real question is do human rights apply to all humans, are the values of the Enlightenment really Eurocentric? Are cultures fixed and static categories; that most be preserved regardless of human cost (as has been noted by Marxists scholars such as Vivek Chibber)?

Indeed, one of the problems with postcolonial theory, critical or other, is that it negates the foundations of reason, reverses cause and effect and denies Ockham’s razor. Thus, before we judge too harshly, it should be asked how European colonialism came to be and what was the situation beforehand (Europeans didn’t introduce e.g., slavery or human sacrifice), and what would have been the alternative in a modernizing world that was becoming more interconnected? Did not the British Empire with some degree of success prevent large scale pillage and exploitation (often fending off American economic exploitation)? It is however easier to judge a theorized past than to learn from our past successes and failures based on empirical evidence. Gilley noted in his 2017 article about European colonialism “both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found” — words to bear in mind, especially now, when the former colonies, the so-called Third World is subject to an orchestrated hostile takeover, by imperious, iron-fisted Chinese debt colonization. Tibet, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the despotic threats made to Taiwan and islands in the South China Sea do much to put the British Empire in a proper historical perspective.


Professor Dr. Robert M. Kerr studied Classics and Semitics largely in Vancouver, Tübingen and Leyden. He is currently director of the Inârah Institute, for research on Early Islamic History and the Qur’an in Saarbrücken (Germany).


Featured image: “Britannia Rules the Waves,” by Nicholas Habbe, painted in 1876.

Reconquest: The Project Of Éric Zemmour

We translate here the speech delivered by Éric Zemmour, at the launch of his brand-new political part, Reconquête (Reconquest), on December 5, 2021, before a crowd of some 15,000. It is a powerful call to arms for France, and Zemmour is making the French political establishment rather nervous. He is a well-known public intellectual and writer.


Greetings to all of you! Greetings to all of you. Greetings my friends. Thank you! Thank you for the welcome. It’s amazing. What an atmosphere! What a pleasure to be here before you in Villepinte. Thank you, really. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I heard the words of those who spoke before me: I thank them. Thank you, my friends! Thank you for being here, thank you for your support. The great coming-together finally begins today. There are nearly fifteen thousand of you here today.

Fifteen thousand! Fifteen thousand French people. Fifteen thousand French people who have defied political correctness, the threats of the extreme left and the hatred of the media.

Fifteen thousand French people who no longer lower their eyes and who are determined to change the course of history! Because let’s not be falsely modest: the stakes are immense. If I win this election, it will not be just another change-over, but the beginning of the reconquest of the most beautiful country in the world.

Yes, this country has suffered so much, has been forgotten by our successive leaders, so that on all fronts it is now necessary to repair the innumerable errors which were committed over these last forty years. Economy, ecology, purchasing power, public services, immigration, insecurity: none of the major chapters of the action we must take escape the serious and comprehensive project that we will begin today to unveil to the French people. Because after the indispensable period of observing and raising awareness, the project must follow.

Who could have imagined this just a few months ago?

The authorities had decided it, the journalists had wanted it, the right had accepted it: the next presidential election was to be a formality for five more years of Macronism.

France was to continue to quietly exit from history, and the French were to disappear in silence on the land of their ancestors. But a small grain of sand came along to jam the machine. No, this grain of sand is not me. This grain of sand is you!

Let me tell you a beautiful story. I’m going to tell you the story of what you’ve accomplished in the last few months.

Last June, on every stage, at every dinner party, in every polling station it was clearly understood: the second round was a foregone conclusion, and Macron could not but win. This presidential election was of no interest.

And then a rumor started to spread. Yes, I confess, I hesitated for a long time. But you came, we came.

And we upset the best laid plans. We broke the tacit pact between all the actors of this farce. And now, no one dares to predict the results of the coming election.

I weigh my words carefully when I say this: your presence honors me. It honors me, because by coming here you show courage, panache, audacity. And dare I say it: by your commitment, you have shown more ardor, determination and resistance than almost all the political leaders of the last thirty years. In Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Ajaccio, Nantes, Rouen, Biarritz, and today, Paris—France is calling out for help and the French have answered the call.

For months, our meetings have been disturbing journalists, irritating politicians, and hystericizing the Left.

Each time I travel, they are enraged at seeing this people that they thought would disappear forever! Because in the four corners of the country, they saw these rooms full to bursting, and overflowing with enthusiasm.

They see your flags, they hear your chants, and they are stunned by your applause. In the end, the political phenomenon of these meetings is not me, it’s you! Your presence is that of a people who have never lain down, and who remain standing against all odds. This people—they had forgotten them; they had underestimated them. They even thought they had got rid of them, far from the city centers, far from the beautiful districts, far from their media.

They were wrong.

The French people, who have been here for a thousand years and who want to remain masters in their own country for another thousand years, have not had their last word.

Your courage honors me, because for months now, not a single day has gone by without those in power and their media outlets attacking me. They invent polemics about books that I wrote fifteen years ago.

They dig into my private life. They call me names. But don’t be mistaken: the real object of their wrath is not me, it’s you. If they hate me, it is because they hate you; if they despise me, it is because they despise YOU.

Against me, everything is allowed. The pack is now on my tail: my opponents want my political death, the journalists want my social death, and the jihadists want me dead. But in their rage, they made a serious mistake: they showed themselves. They attacked us too early. In a few weeks, I am sure, the French will open its eyes to their stratagems, and their attacks will become ineffective.

They have made the mistake of designating me as their sole opponent. They think they are our enemies. But, in fact, they are our best allies.

We are used to it by now. In every election, the system carefully excludes the candidates who displease it, with its judges at their behest, and their militant journalists. We knew they would come after us and we were waiting for them. They want to forbid us to defend our ideas. They want to make me unelectable. They want to steal your democracy. Let’s not let them do that!

They still have one last hope—they want me not to get my 500 sponsorships. So, I say to the mayors of France: dear elected representatives of the people, men and women of good sense, volunteers of the Republic, you have the power to give a voice to millions of French people! Use this power! Do not let yourselves be robbed of the election.

In attacking me, they made a second mistake: underestimating the French. They imagined us asleep, tired, submissive, afraid… But this extraordinary people have a unique capacity of resistance in the history of humanity. France should have disappeared many times. But each time, we held on, and each time, we came back!

They imagine us, in their caricature, full of resentment. They are mistaken: In our hearts there is neither hatred nor resentment, but only determination and courage. In the midst of the French Revolution, Danton declared: “A nation saves itself, but does not take revenge.”

We do not want to take revenge, we want to save, save our country, save our civilization, save our culture, save our literature, save our school, save our landscapes and our natural patrimony, save our companies, save our heritage, save our youth. And above all: save our people.

Over the past few months, you may have heard many things about me. Some have said that I was brutal. Yes, this could be true, because I am passionate and my commitment is total, and France is on the brink.

During these three months, I wanted to push forward the question of France’s survival. If I had been wrong, frankly, do you think that everyone else would have started talking like me?

You may have heard that I am a “fascist,” that I am a “racist,” that I am a “misogynist.” I am pleased to see that you have not been misled.

Fascist… fascist. Me, a fascist.

Right…

When frankly, I am the only one defending the freedom of thought, the freedom of speech, the freedom to debate, the freedom to put words to reality, while they all dream of banning our meetings and having me convicted.

And then I am also a misogynist.

Right…

You know just how ridiculous this accusation is. As a child, in the middle of these big families from Algeria, I was always surrounded by women: my mother of course, but also her sisters, my grandmothers. The women of my childhood, even more than the men, forged my character. They were… how can I put it? At the same time loving and demanding, tender and imperious. It was my mother who instilled in me a taste for effort and excellence. It was also my mother who instilled in me an immoderate love of France.

When I remember my childhood, I remember first of all that my mother transmitted to me this immoderate love of France, the elegance of its art of living, the refinement of its morals and its literature. It was she who gave me the strength to resist everything, to defend this France that she loved passionately. I will tell you a secret: it is thanks to her experience and her memories, told to the child that I was, that I was able to understand—before others—the unheard-of regression that women are undergoing today, in neighborhoods where mass immigration has imported an Islamic civilization so cruel to women.

This is probably why I am the only one today, along with some courageous organizations, to establish without false modesty the obvious link between this immigration from the other side of the Mediterranean and the threats which weigh each day more and more on French women, on their freedom, on their integrity, and sometimes even on their lives. But, all the while, feminists look the other way and talk to us about inclusive language.

I am also supposed to be a “racist.” I will be a racist when I am the only one who does not confuse the defense of our own with the hatred of others.

What is racism? It is to imagine that those who are different from us are inferior because they are different and that the only people who can be French are the descendants of Clovis. How can I, a little Berber Jew from the other side of the Mediterranean, think that?

No, obviously I am not a racist. No, of course, you are not racists. All we want is to defend our heritage. We are defending our country, our homeland, the heritage of our ancestors and the heritage that we will entrust to our children. The preservation of the heritage is not the enemy of modernity, it is the very condition of its existence.

Yes, we are engaged in a fight that is greater than ourselves—that of passing on to our children France as we have known it, France as we have received it. That is why I am standing before the French people today to become their next President of the Republic. That is why we are engaging today in a great battle for France!

Our movement is launched. It is well-structured and organized in all our regions, in all our departments.

Every day, every hour, every minute, we welcome into our ranks new brave ones ready to fight for France. They can now count on the precious support of the VIA networks and the conservative movement. Laurence and Jean-Frédéric, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Yes, thanks to them, thanks to all of you, the Reconquest is now launched!

The reconquest of our economy, the reconquest of our security, the reconquest of our identity, the reconquest of our sovereignty, the reconquest of our country!

We are heading out to the reconquest of our abandoned villages, of our devastated schools, our sacrificed companies, our degraded natural and cultural heritage.

We are heading out to the reconquest of our country to win it back.

“Reconquest” is the name of this movement that I wanted to found. Join us! Join the reconquest of our country!

Our campaign will be different from others because I am different from others. Yes, I humbly confess:

I do not have forty years of political cunning and media spin behind me. They think it’s my weakness, I think it’s my strength.

My strength in this campaign is to touch the hearts of the French with my style, my personality, my sincerity, and now my project.

My strength is to lead our country without compromise, without cowardice, without weakness.

In my conception of politics, sincerity, coherence, honesty, have never been defects.

In my vision of politics, the contest of ideas, convictions, enthusiasm are the surest assets to keep one’s promises and not to betray the voters.

In my conception of politics, we address all French people.

I refuse to choose between the wealthy classes of the metropolises and peripheral France.

I refuse to choose between urban France and rural France.

I refuse to choose between metropolitan France and outer France.

I refuse to choose between the retired and the active.

I refuse to choose between the memories of yesterday, the issues of today and the challenges of tomorrow.

In my vision of politics, when you are President of the French people, you are president of all France and all French people.

Our campaign is now launched—it will be the most beautiful of all!

I now want to pay tribute to all those who, for months now have believed in me, who slogged through the campaign, mobilized, handed out leaflets, canvassed the mayors—to make this great fight possible.

Thank you to the Friends of Eric Zemmour, thank you to Generation Z.

I had planned to say: “I want us to applaud them,” but as usual you will do what’s in your mind. It was always they who, by their enthusiasm, gave me the desire to lead this battle.

“Impossible is not French” wrote the Emperor. You have proved once again that he was right.

Yes, your fight is noble because you are not fighting for yourself, for your little privileges, for your little lives. You are committed to something much bigger than yourself: you are committed to France.

Like the builders of cathedrals, we are working for tomorrow. We work for the day after tomorrow.

We are working for our children, and for our children’s children.

We know that History is relentless, and we will be equal to it so that in a century, France will once again become a beacon that lights up the world, and that our people will once again be admired, envied and respected. For the power and sovereignty regained at home will allow us to express power and influence abroad, on the stage of a world that has changed and that we must face without fear.

To achieve this goal, we are going to conquer power: tomorrow the Elysée Palace, the day after tomorrow the National Assembly! Then will come the turn of the regions, the departments, the communes. One by one we are going to dislodge all these left-wing elected officials, all these socialists: all these socialists who have become Macronists, all these Macronists who have become ecologists, and all these ecologists who have become Islamo-leftists. To dislodge each of them, we will have to convince each Frenchman.

This is our mission. That is your mission.

We have a clear course ahead of us, based on undeniable facts; and from now on we will present solid initiatives.

As I have often said, one of the things that led me to this candidacy was when my son said to me one day: “Well, Dad, the observations you’ve been making for thirty years, now it’s time to take action.”

At 63, I’m moving from observations to action.

I am ready to take the reins of our country. We are ready to meet the expectations of the French people.

You know, for months now, I have been crisscrossing France, meeting with the French. Two fears haunt them: that of the great decline with the impoverishment of the French, the decline of our power and the collapse of our school. And that of the great replacement, with the Islamization of France, mass immigration and permanent insecurity.

Yes, we know. We know that France has become terribly impoverished in recent years. We feel the difficulties of so many French people to make ends meet. We understand the pain that business leaders have because of all the taxes, laws and regulations. We are afflicted by the decline of our power in the world.

I want to address all of these fears.

To stop our employees from getting poorer, I want to make the take-home pay higher. It is not normal to have such a gap between net and gross wages. It is not normal that the gross salary is so high for the bosses, and that the net salary is so low for the employees. I want to give back purchasing power to the most modest employees. I will therefore reduce the contributions they pay, in order to give back, each year, a thirteenth month to employees earning the minimum wage. Each month, they will receive an extra 100 euros. This is only fair: it is the fruit of their labor. I cannot imagine that our employees, especially the poorest ones, finance with their expenses a social model that has become obese because it is open to the whole world.

Solidarity must become national again, and throughout this campaign I will not stop coming back to this, so that the French will get out of this downward spiral. So that our companies also stop getting poorer.

Therefore, in the very first weeks of my mandate, I will massively reduce production taxes for all companies, because it is not right to tax a company before it has even had a chance to make a profit. I want more small businesses to benefit from a lower corporate tax rate: why do large companies, with their armies of tax experts, manage to pay less tax than small companies and VSEs? I want them to regain room to maneuver so that they have the capacity to invest and hire.

In order for our country to stop getting poorer, I am choosing to reindustrialize. I have been saying this for years, at a time when the so-called serious economists were mocking us. I want France to become a major industrial world power again. To become powerful again, France must become a country of industry. Because industry creates jobs, generates innovation, is a source of wealth and a guarantor of our independence. General de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou understood this. Because it is synonymous with social advancement, we want to recoup this industrial France of workers, engineers, SMEs, ETIs and large companies!

So, to help our industrialists, we propose less taxes, fewer standards and more orders. In addition to lowering production taxes, we will force public procurement to favor French companies. There is no reason why all the countries in the world should reserve their public contracts for their national companies, while France chooses to go abroad because of budgetary and European dogmatism. To implement this policy, I will create a powerful Ministry of Industry in charge of foreign trade, energy, research and development and raw materials.

We will also initiate a process of administrative simplification under the direct aegis of the Elysée. Why is our State so powerless with criminals, yet so ruthless with honest people?

I want to cut through this forest of regulations that is ruining the lives of our companies. To do this, I will rely on the key players in our economy, on thousands of intermediary organizations despised by successive governments.

We are choosing to reduce taxation and to focus on industry, on the creation of wealth with a view to its redistribution, on the choice of public procurement over subsidies!

Our conception of the economy is coherent: it favors entrepreneurship in the service of all AND rootedness. Yes, rootedness. This is why we are going to promote the transfer of companies from one generation to the next, like in Italy, like in Germany. This is why I want to abolish inheritance and gift taxes for the transfer of family businesses. It is not normal; it is not acceptable that a French company director would rather sell his company to a Chinese industrialist or to an American investment fund rather than pass on the fruits of his labor to his children, for fear of being cheated by the tax authorities.

But the great decline is not only that of our less well-off workers, it is not only that of our companies—it is also that of French power. For France to get out of the spiral of decline in which our elites have trapped it, it must renew its tradition of independence. This is why I want France to leave NATO’s integrated military command. That is why we must jealously preserve our overseas territories. That is why New Caledonia must remain French. I say no to all the surrenders of this government on this subject.

I want France to regain a position of balance in the world. We are France. We are not the vassals of the United States. We are not the vassals of NATO, of the European Union. We must speak with all countries! The United States, China, Russia. But we must also be wary of all of them, because geopolitics is never a long quiet river. We must regain our rank, reconnect with our power.

Throughout this campaign, I will continue to reveal my platform. Throughout this campaign, I will continue to make public the measures I propose for France.

Our political project is a long-term one. We are committed to the next decades, and to the next generations. And in the long term, power rhymes with education. For schools, we will be on the side of excellence. The French school model must return to its fundamentals, with a particular focus on mathematics and the humanities.

We must rediscover the model that made us successful in the past, and which is now the success of the Asian countries that have imitated us: classical culture, scientific studies, valorization of manual skills,
transmission of knowledge, and the culture of merit and excellence.

From the beginning of the new school year, we will make school the instrument of French-style assimilation, and we will chase pedagogism, Islamo-leftism and LGBT ideology out of our children’s classrooms!

We will give back to teachers the means to work. We will restore their authority. We will ban the use of inclusive language and we will ban all forms of positive discrimination.

Yes, I promise, school will no longer be the ideological laboratory of the Left, and our children will no longer be its guinea pigs! The school of the Republic must once again become the sanctuary it was; and the free school, to which we owe so much, must remain free!

The school must regain its priority objective: the transmission of knowledge, the only way to reduce inequalities. It must no longer try to be as inclusive as possible; but on the contrary to re-establish the culture of merit and effort. And it is because knowledge will be transmitted again, because the culture of effort and merit will be re-established that we will effectively fight against social inequalities!

I want to put an end to this pedagogy which has been constantly lowering social standards for forty years. In the name of equality between all students, they have deprived them of culture, they have prevented evaluations, they have banned rankings.

They thought they were doing the students a favor by depriving them of excellence, preventing them from demonstrating their talent, their intelligence and their work. The school of my childhood promoted these things, and I am sure for many of you here it was the same. That older school allowed in one generation for a person to climb the highest ranks of the Republic. Remember Georges Pompidou, a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, an Associate Professor of Arts, a senior civil servant, and a Head of State, whose parents were teachers and whose grandparents were modest farmers. This is the kind of destiny I want for the next generations of French people, regardless of their social background!

This forgotten France, our forgotten France, has the right to find a quality school. This despised France has the right to find public services. This abandoned France, which lacks police stations, which lacks trains, which lacks doctors, which lacks hospitals is also deprived of a school worthy of its dreams for its children. It is unfair, and it is unacceptable.

But impossible is not French. The state can enable the reconquest of this abandoned France. It must go to each village, each commune, each department to present its model based on excellence: industrial excellence, scientific excellence, educational excellence, excellence in our public services.

Yes, our fight is for excellence. But our fight is above all for France. Because in the face of the accelerating change of people, we are the only ones who dare speak the truth. We are the only ones who say the words that make people angry because we suggest measures that are necessary.

In 2019, France has allowed between 350,000 and 400,000 foreigners to enter its territory, far more than the city of Nice, which is the fifth largest city in France! Over a five-year period, this represents two million entries; the equivalent of the city of Paris.

The challenge of the next presidential election will be to know if we want to let in two million more over the next five years.

According to INSEE, while less than 1% of newborns had a Muslim name in the 1960s, today 22% do so.

Today they are 22%. What percentage tomorrow? Imagine the magnitude of the unprecedented cultural, demographic and human change we are going through. Yesterday, the media complex denied it. Today they celebrate it. Tomorrow they will tell us that we had no choice.

They are lying.

We have a choice.

We have the power to choose the civilizational destiny of our country.

Our migration policy has three pillars:

The first is to stop the flow immediately. From the first weeks of my mandate, zero immigration will become a clear objective of our policy. Before next summer, I want to limit the right to asylum to a handful of individuals each year, to restore meaning to this misused right. I will demand that asylum applications be made in our consulates, to avoid the settlement of rejected asylum seekers who never leave. I want to abolish the right to family reunification and drastically reduce family immigration.

I want to improve the selection of foreign students and establish the principle of their return at the end of their studies. I want to dismantle illegal immigration channels, to put out of action the entities that bring these migrants back to Europe.

The second pillar of my migration policy is simple: I want to put an end to the suction pumps that make France an El Dorado for the Third World. France must become generous with its own people and stop opening its social model to the four winds! I want to abolish social assistance for non-European foreigners, abolish state medical aid. Why, my friends, should we be the only ones in the world to be so generous? I want to abolish the right of the soil, and I want to drastically tighten the conditions for naturalization.

The third pillar of this plan concerns foreigners who have already settled in France. I want to systematically expel all illegals present illegally on our soil. I want to immediately expel foreign criminals who will no longer clutter French prisons. I want to deprive of their French nationality the criminals with dual nationality. I want to expel unemployed foreigners after six months of unsuccessful job search.

So many democratic countries do it: why not us?

All these measures will be submitted to the French people by referendum so that they approve them. Thus made sacred by universal suffrage, they will be imposed on all, including the constitutional council, the European judges, and the technocrats of Brussels.

Our existence as a French people is not negotiable. Our survival as a French nation is not subject to the goodwill of treaties or European judges. Let’s take back our destiny!

Now I want to talk to those who are French. Yes, I make a distinction between who is French and who is not. No, I will not expel some French people. Yes, I am reaching out to Muslims who want to become our brothers! Many of them already are that. For all those who want to be French and who show their attachment to France every day; for all those who did not come to France for the generosity of its social model, out of habit or out of spite; for all those whose ancestors, like me, come from elsewhere but who want the future of their children to be written here.

To all of them, I propose assimilation. Assimilation is the greatest gift France can offer you: to be part of its immense History. It is the greatest gift that France has given me.

Imagine becoming the compatriot of Montaigne, Pascal, Chateaubriand, Balzac! The choice of assimilation is certainly a demanding one, because from now on we have to say “we” when talking about a past where our personal ancestors were not present. This is the effort that my grandparents and my parents made.

Yes, assimilation is demanding, but only it will allow us to find peace and brotherhood. Yes, assimilation is demanding, but why exempt the Algerians, the Malians or the Turks from the efforts made in the past by the Spaniards, the Poles or the Italians? Why should Muslims be unable to do the work of separating the spiritual from the temporal that the Jews and Christians did before them?

Yes, we are reaching out to the French of the Muslim faith who want to become our brothers! There are some! And our hand is firm, and without compromise: if you make France your mother and every Frenchman your brother, you are our compatriots!

Yes, in our reconquest, we set the bar very high and we are demanding, because France is not an à la carte menu. France requires total adhesion. And for those who refuse, and for all those with dual nationality and foreigners who violate our laws, the exit door is wide open.

These are the solutions that the French have been demanding for decades. France can no longer procrastinate.

I cannot fight this battle without you. I need your help! A formidable struggle awaits us to save our country, and each of us is participating in this immense battle.

I appeal to all French patriots, to all those whose feet are firmly rooted in their land. To all those who have not abandoned France. I call upon. I appeal to these militants, to these executives, to these voters of the National Front, who have seen their ideas vegetate in a sterile opposition for decades.

I appeal to these militants and voters of the Republicans, who are tired of seeing their elected representatives bend to the injunctions of the Left and political correctness. This right wing, in love with France, is the majority in our country.

They are well-to-do people categories who have not cut their ties with their homeland. They are the people who have not given in to uprooting. These are the middle class who refuse to be replaced.

I am reaching out to the voters, the executives, the supporters of the Republicans, many of whom have been represented by my friend Eric Ciotti. Your place is with us, at our side, in this fight for France. I want to speak here to the orphans of the RPR. To all those who remember that here, in Villepinte, exactly 31 years ago, the whole of the Right was gathered to organize the “Etats généraux de l’immigration.” I was there, I was barely 30 years old. Yes, I was there. I observed, I noted.

But, there were especially Chirac, Giscard, Juppé, Bayrou, Sarkozy, Madelin. And so many others.

They promised that immigration would be reduced to zero, that national solidarity would be reserved for the French, and that the right of citizenship would be abolished. It was strongly asserted that Islamic laws were incompatible with the laws of the French Republic.

Luck, my friends, is malicious. Thirty-one years later, we find ourselves here, in Villepinte, to say exactly the same thing. And the Left, and the media, and the Macronist power, and the center, and even the current leaders of LR are labelling me and us with the infamous label of “extreme right.”

I want to ask a simple question here. Was Jacques Chirac of the extreme right? Was Valérie Giscard d’Estaing of the extreme right? And Alain Juppé, and François Bayrou? Are they also from the extreme right then?

Yes, my friends, luck is mischievous. We find ourselves together today, on December 5th, the anniversary of the founding of the RPR in 1976! We weren’t even supposed to be here in Villepinte, and here we are. What coincidences, what anniversaries, what memories, what symbols.

But this lesson from Villepinte does not end there. Three years after the General Assembly of the Right, the RPR and the UDF won the legislative elections. In 1995, Jacques Chirac entered the Elysée Palace.

And yet… And yet, all these beautiful proclamations of Villepinte remained a dead letter. All these beautiful promises were forgotten.

The Right, as usual, submitted to the injunctions of the Left, the media, the judges. The Right, as usual, betrayed its voters as soon as they had put it into power.

Thirty years later, nothing has changed. Thirty years later, the RPR and the UDF have become LR; but it’s still the same promises, still the same martial declarations.

Why do you want these politicians to keep the commitments they have not kept for thirty years? The same causes, be sure, will produce the same effects.

Valérie Pécresse constantly reminds us that her entry into politics is intimately linked to the person of Jacques Chirac. She constantly refers to him. Let’s take her word for it. She will act just like her mentor—she will promise everything and deliver nothing. Chirac who said: “I will surprise you with my demagogy.” Chirac who said: “Promises only oblige those who listen to them.”

Yes, believe Valérie Pécresse when she repeats that she is the heiress of Jacques Chirac. We are the opposite of these political betrayals.

We promise and we will deliver. We will commit and we will do. Let us say, my friends, that this will be our Villepinte Pledge! The Oath of Villepinte that will erase thirty years of renunciation and cowardice.

Thirty years during which the people were divided, separated, ostracized, with National Front voters treated as pariahs, and LR voters intimidated, terrorized by a Left that decided who was republican, who was not, who was in the camp of the good, who was in the camp of the bad.

That time is over.

We must come together, we must unite. I want to give back the right to vote to the National Front voters and I want to give back the right to the LR voters. This is no longer the time for Byzantine quarrels: tomorrow, France may disappear. Our duty is to stand up. Our duty is to fight. Our duty is to commit ourselves!

A very particular commitment, because we are not going to fight people. Unlike our opponents, full of hatred and contempt, we are not fighting against individuals. Our fight is harder, more difficult but more noble: we fight against ideas.

In 2022, it is not only the person of Emmanuel Macron that we are going to defeat, but better—his ideology; this system of which he is the standard-bearer, the spokesman, and the executor. The “person” Emmanuel Macron does not interest us, because he is fundamentally uninteresting. Find me a single Frenchman in the country who can explain the thinking of Emmanuel Macron. Just one!

There is none, not even he himself!

Nobody knows who he is, because he is nobody. Behind the mask of perfect technocratic intelligence, behind the mountain of superficial ideas, behind the contradictory slogans, behind the “at the same time” synonymous with disorder, and the “whatever it takes” synonymous of ruin, there is nobody. There is nothing!

Macron has gutted our economy, our identity, our culture, our freedom, our energy, our hopes, our lives. He has emptied everything, because he alone is the great void, the abyss. In 2017, France elected the void and fell into it.

My friends, it is time to get our country and our people out of this bottomless pit. We will leave in its showcase the plastic dummy [Macron], this automaton that wanders in a labyrinth of mirrors, this faceless mask that disfigures our own. We will let this teenager search for himself eternally. Let’s leave him with his obsession for himself.

Our courage, our intelligence, our strength and our commitment, we dedicate them against globalism, against collectivization, against mass immigration, against gender theory and Islamo-leftism. All these infernal machines which have only one goal, only one mission and only one ideal: to deconstruct our people. to better destroy it.

Tirelessly, we will uproot these ideologies that thrive only on public money and militant journalists. Yes, we will make Macronism a bad memory.

Then…

When this ghost will have left the Elysée, when the Left will have lost its last puppet, we will replace it with France. We will replace the little Macron with “the Great Nation.” We will replace emptiness with identity. We will replace complacency with excellence. We will replace the derisory with History.

A wonderful, exceptional task awaits us, the commitment of a lifetime. France is at a crossroads. It is now or never.

French people! I want enthusiasm, I want songs, I want joy, I want pride! Be strong, be joyful, be happy!

Yes, my friends, you are right to sing the Marseillaise, because we are going to recover France from the cynics and the conceited, from those who only have contempt and arrogance in their eyes, from all those who want to make us disappear. We are rising up. Lift up your hearts!

All my life, I have denied with all my strength melancholy, which brings on despair, which deprives us of courage and which paralyses us from action.

Bernanos wrote: “Hope is a heroic determination of the soul, and its highest form is despair overcome.”

Yes, we must overcome our anger, our doubts accumulated over so many years to transform our despair into hope.

A colossal and magnificent task awaits us—to rebuild France, our beloved country. We have the people, we have a plan, we have the strength and we have the courage. We have the ideas, we have a project and we have a movement. They can do nothing against you, they can do nothing against us.

In front of the whole world, we can now raise our eyes and shout loud and clear: France is back!

France, this country of scientists who have transformed the world, and this country of writers who have made it dream. This country of courageous workers and ingenious innovators. This unique country in the world, this perfect balance between beauty and strength, between elegance and vigor, between survival instinct and generosity, between freedom and equality, between genius and lightness.

Yes, France is back because the French people have risen up! The French people are standing up to all those who want to make them disappear, in the face of all those who want to deprive their children of their heritage and greatness!

The French people will never lower their eyes in the face of those who have sworn their doom! Yes, France is back! Long live the Republic, and above all, above all:

Long live France!


Featured image: a portrait of Éric Zemmour by fmr0, 2019.

The Left-Right Hacks Of The Legacy Media

Readers may have seen the heated argument between Laure Adler and Franz Olivier Giesbert on TV. The lady journalist, a peroxide blonde with sausage lips and tightened skin, reproached FOG for having written in his latest book, Histoire intime de la Vème République (Intimate History of the Fifth Republic) that on his way to the Saint-Charles train station via the Cannebière, he could no longer hear French spoken. And then… My God! What drama! Horresco referens! The cries of outrage by the lady journalist rendered Giesbert immobile. FOG, cornered, defended himself for being a white man and for being, on the contrary, cosmopolitan. “You are white and proud of it. There are not enough white people around you,” concluded Mrs. Adler, who then came to the conclusion that her colleague’s remarks were racist, which left him speechless.

Now I’m not one to comment on the skits flashing on cathode-ray screens, but the head-on clash of these two journalists was to me a hilarious episode with a calamitous moral and laughable conclusions, revealing what is wrong in France for both of them: the disconnect of the elites and the consequences of the real world finally made visible.

Being familiar with Christophe Guilluy, I could only think back to his analyses in Fractures françaises (French Fractures), where he notes the irreparable and final separation of the cities where the darling children of globalism live and those who live in the peripheries. The former despise the latter politically and culturally and loathe and reject their electoral options and political opinions. They are the “In” and “bottom up” people; and on the other hand, there are the penniless, the sweaty, the “down.” The first ones are rootless, post-national, from everywhere and nowhere; while the other ones, rooted and religious, represent the moldy, Petainist, reactive, eternally anti-Semitic France. We know how it goes. In this story, very nearly a farce, these two hacks of the left and center-right journalism are retailers who buy from the same wholesaler, the other side of the same coin. Have a look.

Let’s start with Franz Olivier Giesbert, a Marseille native at heart, who feels at home in this cosmopolitan city and who says so loud and clear. To be a cosmopolitan like Paul Morand, to stay at the Ritz and the Danieli in Venice, to travel the length and breadth of Europe, to be a great performer at Savile Row and Times Square, I can understand that. To be a great European like Ernst Jünger, handling French as well as German, conscious of a concert of nations, I am can go along with that—but a cosmopolitanism which is the prerogative of an elite, sure of being heir to its own civilization, like Valéry, Nietzsche, Zweig, Fumaroli.

The current cosmopolitans, thus modern and not inhabited by the old world, make the mistake of applying as a universal principle their own bourgeois life to the whole world, of maintaining that there is no nation, of subscribing to miscegenation and diversity for the people below, while never living within the diversity they cherish, still feeling protected by their areas of residence and having renounced civilization in favor of a living-together, based on human rights, relativism and consumerism.

Giesbert does not understand that the problem lies in the shift from quality to quantity. There is strength in numbers. One goes from a conversation of literates who speak French in Vienna to a suburban RER station in Clichy la Garenne. What is seen as the diplomacy of the spirit now becomes, by its application in general law, a mixing of cultures stupidly qualified as wealth. Living together does not work because people from different countries, coming in too large numbers, poor, concentrated in certain places, no longer seek to assimilate into France, into the French, into French work. Everything has been done to prevent them from doing so.

One must read Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities to see that the American situation is not so far from what FOG is experiencing in Marseille. Diasporas live together, speak their dialect, their language, and end up hating each other. Giesbert is Sherman MacCoy who discovers reality: multiculturalism is cosmopolitanism from below, for the masses and for the poor, which does not produce anything happy. The Lebaneseization of our country is the symptom of an archipelago which, when these islands come together, will, alas, set off fireworks.

Giesbert’s reaction reminds me of Bossuet’s cult phrase “God laughs at men who deplore the consequences while they cherish the causes.” Giesbert, the defender of liberalism, of laissez-faire, supporter of Maastrichtian Europeanism, sometimes Mitterrandian, sometimes Chiracian, sometimes Sarkozist, is caught in the contradictions of his own ideology. No, France is not McDonald’s; people do not come as they are. No, it is not enough to work and respect the laws to make a nation. This is already the vice of liberalism, which prefers belonging to labor capital over and above cultural belonging. The great replacement is a fact, but it needs a genitive, as we say in Latin, to be the great replacement of France from below by the immigration of work that has become that of settlement. In the logic of liberalism, a lawyer does not have to be replaced by a Kosovar or Congolese lawyer, but a plasterer, a sushi delivery man, and yes, a security guard. Perhaps, Mr. Giesbert realizes in his old age what is happening, like the sad sire, Onfray, supporter of Zemmour, like our dear Jean-Marie Rouart, former Freemason turned Catholic, in a successful book, Ce pays des hommes sans Dieu (This Land of Men without God).

It is precisely because Franz-Olivier Giesbert is beginning to understand that Laure Adler, judge and jury, felt obliged to point out his curious, tendentious and dangerous remarks. She is the illustration of what has become of the sixty-eight year-old Left. I can’t help but think of that acidic book by Tom Wolfe, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, in which he describes Leonard Bernstein, cashmere sweater over his shoulders, raising his fist in the air when he meets a Black Panther activist. This bourgeois Left has taken power through a cultural coup d’état (just as it did in 1789), by taking over the subsidized positions in culture, radio, newspapers, universities, national education, and the European Parliament. Mrs. Adler, fifty years of political and intellectual journalism on France culture, has been the red carpet of all the intellectualism of the last decades, selling us autistic feminism, hysterical anti-racism, blissful Europeanism, the culture of the margins, and deconstruction by those crazy people from Derrida, Althusser and Co.

For Ms. Adler, being offended by the fact that French is no longer spoken in France is racist. What!? Any country that wants to survive can only do so through a people, a land, a language. The self-righteousness of a bourgeoisie so outdated, outraged in front of reality, speaks volumes about the state of the disconnect. Mrs. Adler reproaches Giesbert for being white and for wanting to surround himself with white people. But does she herself really surround herself with people of diversity? In her milieu, is she not surrounded by people of her own class? Like over at Mediapart, where there is not a single French person of foreign origin but only an assembly of granivores. The only blacks or Arabs that Laure Adler sees are her cleaning lady, her Uber delivery man, the guy who checks her Hermès bag at the entrance to BHV or her looks at her Covid passport. The cynicism of ideas has a face. Tolerance, no-frontierism, crazy anti-racism all have accompanied liberalism’s own desire to see Mohamed Charkaoui’s grandson, a plasterer who arrived in 1975, become a parcel deliveryman. A drift of the capitalism of connivance.

Since the revolution eats its children and an abundance of rulers is detrimental, Mrs. Adler understands that it was necessary, at her age, to reinvent herself. One would almost have thought that Mitterrand had come back. But here she is, subscribing to Wokism to stay in the game and to survive on TV, where everything is understood in terms of skin color, oppression and minorities.

On the Left, she adheres to the most ridiculous anti-racism, but she also subscribes to the long speech of the neoliberal candidate Macron in Marseille in 2017, who saw in the Phocaean city Ghanaians, Moroccans, Algerians, Congolese, Italians, Portuguese, Turks, Brazilians and tutti quanti, but not a single French person of foreign origin. The irony is that this Marxist Left, fifty years on, like a Dumas novel, has gone from the Mao scarf to the Rotary Club. It is Goupil that loathes the Yellow Vests, the con Bandit, agent of the Americans in the European Union, old Glucksmann who supported the war in Iraq.

That the media hacks of power tear each other apart is self-evident; that they do so in public can be embarrassing. But it reveals a certainty: fools ever glory in what should shame them—it is the height of foolishness.


Nicolas Kinosky is at the Centres des Analyses des Rhétoriques Religieuses de l’Antiquité. This articles appears through the very kind courtesy La Nef.


Featured image: “The Pig-faced Woman and the Spanish Mule” Caricature by George Cruikshank, published 21 March 1815.

The Unending Agony Of Haiti

When it comes to the Haitian Revolution, history’s verdict is clear: Haiti is a failed state and always has been. A violent slave revolt 200 years ago does not a country make. Today, Haiti remains a cesspool of filth, poverty, and corruption. It is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a per capita income of just $2,370 a year. Haiti is in fact the very poster child of such failed states, what a previous U.S. president of some acumen colorfully described as a “shithole” or pays de merde, in French.

Haiti’s revolt, after taking only a few royalist appointees off their own local chessboard, quickly became a full-fledged rebellion of the enslaved against the Napoleonic sham-republic. When it became clear that Paris would keep trying to balance the books with the blood of their uncompensated labor, Haiti’s sugarcane fieldworkers ended up murdering every white man, woman, and child on their side of the border, swiftly dominating the whole island through greater numbers and Madrid’s simultaneous fall to Napoleon—two centuries ago exactly in February.

Revolutionary glories from this wave of 19th-century globalization have long since faded in a state named the “Republic of NGOs” in 2010—after an earthquake so violent saw the country taken over by do-gooders from the United Nations and a host of international “charities.” The international third sector, in turn, bestowed the island with more corruption and other terrible consequences, including a very long list of sex crimes. More than a decade after the quake, Haiti’s presidential palace remains in ruins—a fitting symbol of what the Haitian state is good for after so much hand-holding.

The failure of the “international community” to deliver results in Haiti is a central plank of the anti-globalist argument and merits further study. Power abhors a vacuum, as the saying goes, and as surely as any of the laws of physics, the power vacuum in Port-au-Prince—exacerbated after the murder in his home of the sitting but term-expired President Jovenel Moïse—has finally created a great sucking sound loud enough to attract ne’er do-wells from the world over. Globalized conflict has arrived in a region otherwise characterized by universal accord—at least between states.

A 300 percent increase in kidnappings over 2020—already a historically high year for such a nefarious metric—denotes the fragile and collapsing authority of Haiti’s so-called central government. Even those who wagered in favor of progress have retreated to safety across the border (where a wall is going up) in the Dominican Republic. The process of state formation appears to be happening from scratch, with multiple warlords competing in the market of violence for primacy over land masses containing taxable population (prey, in libertarian parlance) and strategic sinecures such as port facilities and border crossings.

Worse, there appears to be a replication of the Syrian civil war playbook, with a handful of foreign powers backing various promising consortia of competitors within the thriving lack of monopoly on violence. All of this is occurring just 700 miles off the U.S. coast.

The police force the Clinton Administration foolishly imposed on the country after disbanding the Haitian armed forces has itself melted into these gangs, with street-level bureaucrats as prosaic as one beat officer pseudonymized as “BBQ” (an alias bestowed after burning down 400 residences with their residents inside, a war crime) posing as a viable alternative to the central government. Despite his appearance on the U.S. Treasury Department’s sanctions list, Jimmy Chérizier (a.k.a. BBQ) has recently enjoyed a star turn on such state-backed stalwarts as Al Jazeera, sports modern weaponry of Israeli vintage, and has been seen in the company of executives from the Wagner Group, a Russian mercenary organization. The Chinese also have their eye on Haiti.

All of this has unfolded under the blind eye of the American-backed Haitian central government and police, led by Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Haiti’s Leviathan has feet of clay, even when led by decree without a legislature and a dead head of state. The Dominican Republic, which shares the troubled island of Hispaniola, also recognizes this remnant of Haiti’s constitutional government.

All this is not without cost. Consider the kidnapping in November of Haitian-Dominican journalist Alexandre Galves. Haitian officials deny that Galves was taken on the Dominican side of the border—even though that’s almost certainly what happened and would constitute an act of war. Galves had unveiled corrupt details surrounding Haiti’s version of the Chavista influence-peddling (and politically compromising) cheap oil agreement run by Venezuela’s Cubans known as PetroCaribe—setting off the political crisis that preceded the current cycle of violence. As a pivotal actor in the opposition to the Moïse Administration’s reformist agenda, Galves’ disappearance gave credence to the increasingly obvious reality that Haiti is replacing Somalia as the world’s foremost example of anarchy.

The socialist and Brazilian-led pink tide of the 2000s, enforced through such stalwarts of the proletarian revolution as Cuba (a good example of illegitimate incidence in Haiti) are also present on the island on both sides of the border. Former Venezuelan intelligence chief Alex Saab is on the record testifying that Haiti is the best place in the world for arms trafficking, which is worrying, given his government’s link (again through oil) with an emerging axis has Nation of Islam black nationalists who have found their lodestar in the Haitian revolution. In teaming up with American Black Lives Matter activists (backstopped by the Congressional Black Caucus, no less), this coalition finds international expression in the Chinese-led Group of 77 (actually over 100 countries) whose bulk are the 54 African countries formally recognized by the United Nations.

There is a consistent ideological direction, and more dangerously one unfazed by the failure of the Haitian revolution to deliver abundance to the Haitian people (and answer arrogant princelings from middle kingdoms). Multiple forays into balkanization, monarchism and a French-inflected caudillismo generalize a through-line of lack of liberal self-government in all of Haitian history.

Foreign aggressions by Haiti include no less than seven invasions of its neighbor, which successfully repelled every attempt since its independence from Haiti’s domineering occupation between 1822 and 1844.

Sadly, Haiti has become a crossroads of the world of shadows, which cannot but end up being regarded in hindsight as a tinderbox waiting for a match. People in the region have some responsibility to plan for the future, including for the seemingly inevitable conflict between the major armed factions on Haitian territory—regardless of whose backing they have up to the point when the civil war finally sparks.

In Haiti, the refining of the art of throwing bad money after bad has reached levels hitherto unheard of. Haiti has no great mineral wealth or agricultural potential since disposing of its vegetation. No amount of sacrifice to the ideological golden calves of the Haitian revolution will ever be enough to make it work.

Despite this, U.S. Representative Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) managed to send a letter signed by 70 members of Congress demanding a change of policy from the Trump-era status quo. The price is being paid by the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries, onto whom the international community often shunts responsibility for Haitian problems, despite their own challenges.

As the international order deteriorates, the truth will set you free only in the sense that inconvenient issues—such as the international community’s notorious failure to fix Haiti—are continually swept under the rug. It is as much a finger in the eye of elitist globalist ambitions as Brexit or the migration crises around the world, and it will stop recognizing Taiwan as the real China soon if we don’t restore order there.

Dust off your copy of The Black Jacobins for Haitian Independence Day on January 1. The world over should be commemorating in grief the 200th anniversary of the Haitian invasion and atrocities.

Being caught in the crossfire of Haiti’s hurricane of horrors has never been a good time or a good place to be. But Western civilization is under threat, and the island of Hispaniola must stand ready to hold the line once again. Perhaps, Haiti should be dismantled and allowed to start over. Using its indigenous voodoo, it might commence by casting a better spell on itself.


Theodore Roosevelt Malloch and Felipe Cuello are co-authors of Trump’s World: GEO DEUS. (This article appears courtesy of American Greatness).


Featured image: a composition by Marie-Hélène Cauvin, 2007.

On Democracy: A Conversation With Pierre Manent

This month, through the kind courtesy of La Nef magazine, we are so very honored to present this discussion with Pierre Manent, the well-known French political philosopher who of course hardly needs an introduction. Suffice to say that he is the author of very many influential books and articles on the condition and direction of modernity.

Here, Professor Manent speaks with Christophe Geffroy, the editor and publisher of La Nef, on the topic of democracy and Tocqueville, for is was Tocqueville who bets observed democracy and corollary, equality. Tocqueville figures prominently in several of Professor Manent’s books, including, Tocqueville and the Nature of Democracy, An Intellectual History of Liberalism, and Democracy Without Nations.


Christophe Geffroy (CG): How can we best summarize Tocqueville’s political analysis of democracy? What definition does he give? What is his contribution, his originality?

Pierre Manent (PM): French political thought in the first half of the 19th century is exceptionally rich. The French Revolution had signified an unprecedented break in the history of Europe. The upheaval suffered, the immense task of reconstruction to be accomplished, all this stirred the hearts and sharpened the minds of all parties. However, it was in the liberal school, taken in the broadest sense, that political reflection was most acute and relevant. Its members accepted the new society as a fact—a fact to be understood and organized politically by founding a representative regime.

Three figures successively dominated the field of political reflection: Benjamin Constant, François Guizot, Alexis de Tocqueville. The first is the most explicit and—I would say—the most naively liberal. He wanted above all to defend, as he says, that “part of human existence which, of necessity, remains individual and independent, and which is by right outside any social competence.” His liberalism is of opposition. Guizot is, in short, the one who opposes. He looks at things from the point of view of the one who governs; he is concerned first of all with the “means of government,” so that the new power, he explains, must know how to discern and draw from the new society.

Pierre Manent. © Benjamin de Diesbach.

And Tocqueville? He perceives, with an acuity that belongs only to him, a new phenomenon that had not escaped his predecessors, but of which he is the first to perceive to what extent it modifies the conditions of human life in all its dimensions. This phenomenon is democracy. An old word, an old notion, an old reality. But now a brand-new reality: Equality, as an idea and as a feeling, and even as a passion, has acquired an unprecedented power over minds and hearts. Once we have understood that this fact is irreversible, we must learn to organize social and political life in such a way as to realize the human vocation in this new social and moral element.

(CG): In what way is Tocqueville a liberal author, who fits into this precise philosophical tradition?

PM: Tocqueville is a liberal. But in his case, the qualifier is not very illuminating. Certainly, he values freedom; he even celebrates it in grandiose terms. Certainly, he accepts the main doctrinal elements of modern liberalism, and first of all what he calls “the just notion of liberty” according to which each man “is born with an equal and imprescriptible right to live independent of his fellow men in all that relates only to himself.” But, at the same time, he vigorously denounces the “individualism” which “draws [each one] unceasingly towards himself alone and threatens to enclose him at last entirely in the solitude of his own heart.”

We can formulate the tension that runs through his thought and his soul in this way: On the one hand, liberalism is just because it places a principle of justice at the basis of the new society, whereas all previous human orders necessarily rested, in one way or another, on force. But on the other hand, it is imperative for him to combat the most serious tendency of a society founded on these principles, which is to divert the members of the society from the concern for the common good and thus to leave the highest faculties of man lying fallow. In terms of the contemporary French debate, one could say that Tocqueville is frankly liberal, but also more republican than liberal.

(CG): Today, Tocqueville is mostly remembered for his book Democracy in America and less for Ancien Regime and the Revolution. What is the contribution of the latter and how can we situate it in relation to the former?

PM: It is a book on the political history of France, very thorough, carefully and admirably written. He prepared and wrote it in the early years of the Second Empire, which was not yet “liberal.” Tocqueville’s outlook is very dark. The coup d’état of Louis-Napoleon, and the regime that was then installed, humiliated Tocqueville and discouraged him. Was France condemned to fail unceasingly at the doors of political freedom? How is it that after a Revolution that brought down the monarchical State, that even made a clean sweep of the society of old orders, and then, this new society found itself to be like the old one, and even more than the old one, under the hand of a State that was still “vertical,” as we would say today?

Tocqueville is very harsh on our Old Regime, but his indictment has little to do with revolutionary diatribes. In some respects, his book is even a “tomb,” in the poetic sense of the word, of the Ancien Régime and its “greatness.” One can read for example: “It will always be regretted that instead of bending this nobility under the empire of laws, [the Revolution] has cut it down and uprooted it. By doing so, it has taken away from the nation a necessary part of its substance and made a wound to liberty that will never heal.” But here is the indictment: “Class division was the crime of the old royalty, and later became its excuse.”

By devitalizing the old institutions that ensured the collaboration of the classes without replacing them with the institutions of political liberty, the monarchy locked everyone into their own condition, thus nourishing the individualism that was the condition of the Revolution and was found, even more virulent, among its major consequences.

CG: For Tocqueville, was the French Revolution part of a movement towards democracy? And what links are there between the revolutionary spirit and the democratic spirit?

PM: This is an essential point. Tocqueville is especially concerned to distinguish the two, which the French are inclined to confuse because of their historical experience: Democracy came for them with the Revolution. This confusion is particularly harmful in France because democrats believe they are obliged to be revolutionaries and anti-revolutionaries to be against democracy. Thus, good citizens who should share the same affection for a regime that knows how to combine equality and liberty become irreconcilable political adversaries.

To show that the democratic spirit is essentially distinct from the revolutionary spirit is one of Tocqueville’s principal objects. American democracy provides him with the crucial experience that proves the thesis: The Americans live under an entirely democratic regime—if we except, of course, the institution of slavery in certain southern states—and they know a social and political life that is clearly better regulated than the French. This is because they were “born equal instead of becoming equal.” By a cruel irony that would not, I believe, have surprised Tocqueville too much, the American Democrats of today are inclined to reverse his thesis, and to see in slavery not the anomaly, but the ineradicable root of the American regime.

CG: Why was Tocqueville long forgotten in France, which was not the case in the United States, only to be rediscovered fairly recently and to have become an “indispensable” thinker of any analysis of democracy?

PM: It is undoubtedly because the social and political movement has led the French in the direction from which Tocqueville wished to turn them away. On the one hand, the revolutionary spirit found new motives in the extension of industry, which, in the eyes of socialists, especially Marxists, made a new and more radical revolution inevitable. On the other hand, opposition to democracy became independent of nostalgia for the Old Regime, and found in the new France a powerful resource in the form of nationalism.

One fact strikes me—after 1848, and more and more as we approached the new century, the generous and finely discriminating intelligence that characterized the political thought of the first nineteenth century gave way more and more to a fierce polemic that granted nothing to the adversary. Socialists and nationalists competed, if I may say so, in certainty and implacability. There are always great minds, or at least great talents, but imaginations are narrowed and hearts often shriveled.

Tocqueville returned to the public debate in France, first thanks to Raymond Aron who placed him in the history of social sciences, as one of the great interpreters of modern society alongside Marx, Comte or Weber. Then his star shone at the same time as that of Marx waned—the experience of communist totalitarianism made the idea of the despotic potentialities of equality strikingly relevant.

CG: Our democracies are in crisis, as the record abstention of the last elections confirms. Is Tocqueville a help in understanding this crisis and getting out of it?

PM: The current crisis brings to a climax the tendencies described by Tocqueville. As I said, democracy, as he understands it, is not so much a political regime as a spiritual regime; it is based on an extraordinarily powerful and pervasive affect, namely, the “passion for equality,” combined with the “feeling of similarity.” It is not only proclaimed that all citizens are equal before the law, or that a judge does not take into account the class, the race or the education of the accused when he judges. One wants to remove any mark of inequality or simply of difference in the social body.

The feeling of the similar, the compassion for the “suffering other,” are not only a constitutive part of the feelings of the social man, they form the very atmosphere of the collective life; they give it the tone; they are ordered by the social authority and more and more by the law of politics itself. This social religion certainly has its orthodoxy and its heretics—who would dare contest that men are equal and similar, if not perverse minds, or hearts closed to all humanity?

The consequence of this empire of the similar is that all the differences, natural or acquired, which structure human life—differences of the sexes, of generations, of the contents of life, of the forms of life, of human virtues and vices—all these differences which give human life its form and its meaning, its taste too—well, social religion commands us to refuse to take them into account in our words or our actions, and first of all forbids us to even see them.

Indeed, the real life, ordered by a complex mixture of equality and inequality, of resemblance and difference, is so to speak overlaid by an unreal but obligatory life, where the law commands that we ignore the difference of the sexes, erases the mention of the father, and continuously reforms the language so that this one cannot designate another subject of attribution of what it is to be human in general. They even want to erase the difference between the human species and the animal species. Thus, the democratic religion commands us to live in a humanity without anything human of its own, without form or order, without any other task than to erase any trace of form or order, and finally any trace of meaning.

CG: The pandemic and the often liberticidal measures taken to contain it have shown that our fellow citizens are more attached to their well-being than to their freedom. Is this in line with Tocqueville’s analysis of the nature of democracy?

PM: Compassion is primarily concerned with physical suffering. It is the “pity” of which Rousseau speaks, in which the “animal spectator” identifies with the “suffering animal.” In the absence of a moral education, we limit ourselves to “feeling with” the “sensitive” animal. Together with the progress of medicine, the feeling of the fellow man and compassion have encouraged the construction of these extraordinary “health systems” which are one of the most admirable achievements of modern civilization. Let’s not kid ourselves—we all want to be well cared for!

But the more collective resources and attention are focused on a particular area, the more unbalanced our common life is likely to be. If we only know how to see suffering bodies, and if the only commandment that makes sense to us is to remove or alleviate physical suffering, then we are handing over not only our bodies but our souls to the machinery of prevention and cure. If our societies have become so organized around the concern for health, it is first of all of course that this concern is universally shared, but it is also because other human concerns have withered away. The desire to control everything, which is natural to governments, finds a docile subject among members of society whose imagination and ambition are increasingly narrowed, and who no longer know how to attach themselves to something greater than their “naked lives.”

CG: What role does Tocqueville see for religion in the balance and viability of a democratic society? Does the decline of Christianity in the West threaten democratic vitality?

PM: In a humanity sucked in by the vortex of sameness, transcendent religion, and primarily the Christian religion, introduces difference par excellence. One can think that, at the beginning, it is the desire to bring the transcendent back to us, to domesticate the Most High, that has engaged us in the movement of democratization and homogenization that is reaching its extreme phase today in the West.

If this is the case, the vital prognosis of our civilization is threatened, because how can we revive the concern for transcendence when we are caught in a social and moral movement motivated by the refusal of transcendence? In fact, Christianity itself is today profoundly affected, if not transformed by this rejection. Current Christian preaching tends to be confused with the religion of human likeness. There is a reluctance to take seriously the object of faith. Christianity is deliberately confused with “other religions.”

CG: Do we find in Tocqueville a link between nation and democracy? In other words, for him, can democracy be envisaged anywhere, on any scale and independently of a specific history anchored in a culture and a religion?

PM: Tocqueville’s analyses presuppose the national framework; he speaks of “European nations” or “democratic nations,” but he does not thematize the question of the nation. Tocqueville elaborated his thought before the national question became central to European life. His general approach can, however, enlighten us.

As the progress of democratic equality made European societies more similar, they experienced more keenly their national character, which came to the fore both in their mutual relations and in the relationship of each nation to itself. The internal homogenization was, so to speak, counterbalanced by the ever-increasing value placed on national specificity.

While the different nations were coming closer together in their social form and seemed to be moving towards the same future, each one turned with predilection to its original past. National history became constitutive of the self-consciousness of each to a degree that Europe had never known. The institutions that were directly linked to the national past, the pre-democratic institutions, such as the army or the Church, were able to acquire an unprecedented prestige or role—that of embodying the nation, and possibly providing a point of reference for the rejection of democracy.

Modern democracy has developed within the national framework, and in this sense democracy and national form are closely related. On the other hand, in the nationalist impulse, the nation appears as the synthesis and protector of all those differences that democracy tends to erase, at the risk that these differences serve above all as fuel and pretext for anti-democratic passion.

Today, in North America and in Europe, the democratic movement wants to “do away” with the nation that has nourished and protected it for so long. That is why it is turning with particular aggression against national histories. While an imaginary similarity is imposed on all elements of present life, the past becomes that reserve of differences from which our memory and imagination must be purged.

The nation as it developed in Europe combined the past, the present and the future; it synthesized the three dimensions of time in a way that no political form had been able to do before. Today, the passion for similarity and indistinction between men has reached such a degree of virulence that the present devours both the past and the future: The past because it was so different; the future because it might be very different.


The featured image shows a portrait of Alexis de Tocqueville by Théodore Chassériau, painted in 1850.

The Brutal Record Of Marxist Socialism, And The Connivance Of Fellow-Travelers And Other Useful Idiots

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialist-communist historiography is no longer popular. The old Lenino-Trotsko-Marxist manichaeism, inherited from the Enlightenment, has gradually withdrawn from the Western political and cultural scene, leaving room for deconstructionist progressivism, an immanent religion just as deleterious, a mixture of contradictory neo-puritan, communitarian and ethnicist beliefs, such as ultra-feminism, multiculturalism, decolonialism, indigenism, immigrationism, the celebration of sexual minorities, Islamo-leftism and the blissful worship of nature.

This new version of humanitarian morality is defended by large multinationals and powerful lobbies or NGOs, with the complacency, even the blessing, of the majority of the political-economical-media elites. The “new righteous,” modern inquisitors, guardians of political correctness, claim, as in the past, to monopolize the interpretation of the meaning of history, to embody goodness, reason, progress, science, humanitarian and democratic values.

The earlier marginalized, excluded, declared reactionary, obscurantist and obstacles to the establishment of the socialist society (in the name of the radiant future and the communist paradise), independent historians and nonconformists, opposed to the unilateral reading of history and to the utopia of the anthropological transformation, which is the prelude to the enslavement of the people, are again subjected to sectarianism, intolerance, contempt and hate. Intellectual terrorism does not vary much in its methods and arguments – in yesteryear, to criticize communism was to play into the hands of the bourgeoisie and fascism. Today, to criticize the deconstructionism of the globalist doxa is to play into the hands of populism, racism and fascism.

Nazi Crimes And Communist Crimes: Double Standards

“Those who cannot remember the past,” said George Santayana, “are condemned to repeat it” (Life and Reason, 1905). The crimes of the National Socialist regime have been quantified and unreservedly condemned, both morally and legally. But there is still a great deal of work to be done to make people aware of the crimes committed in the name of communism; to assess their number and to condemn them in the strongest terms. The terrible human toll of socialism and Marxism is said to belong to history, but it is still astonishingly underestimated, passed over in silence, or even excused or absolved.

Communist sympathizers, and their former comrades-in-arms, whether camouflaged or out in the open, are in the habit of claiming that the criminal practice of Hitler’s National Socialism stems from the perversity of his ideology, whereas that of communism would only have originated from the deviation, the denaturation, the deviation of a generous and humanist inspiration. No one denies the appalling Nazi genocide except a few small groups without influence, or deranged minds.

But on the other hand, communists and their fellow travelers can deny the exterminationist character of the Marxist theoretical-practical apparatus, can express themselves freely on major media, can be heard and even considered sincere and idealist, as long as they solemnly declare, “I do not recognize myself in the crimes of certain communist countries.” Recognized as a crime in the case of Nazism (5 to 12 million dead victims), communist negationism (50 to 100 million dead victims) is tolerated, accepted, even justified. While there should be no difference between the victims of violence, there is a macabre hierarchy for them – and despite everything.

When on September 19, 2019, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution on “the importance of historical memory for the future of Europe,” condemning the crimes committed by the Nazi and Communist regimes, the Communist, and more broadly socialist-Marxist, press was indignant and denounced the “manipulation of history.” The text of the Resolution was described as “confusing,” “contradictory,” “unacceptable,” a “monument to relativism,” a “gross simplification of reality,” a “falsification” and “revisionism.”

According to these negationists, self-proclaimed “progressives,” there are good and bad victims: The amalgam between socialism-Marxism and national socialism must be censured and denounced – but the equivalence must be accepted and even recommended when it concerns Nazism and fascism. According to them, there is uniqueness in the case of fascism, but not in the case of communism. The facts do not matter. The Italian fascists caused between 600 and 700 casualties among the social-communist militants and suffered the same number of casualties in their own ranks.

The Mussolini regime executed 9 Slovenian terrorists from 1922 to 1940 and 17 more in 1943, when the civil war started. The number of political prisoners in fascist Italy never exceeded two thousand. The deadly record of Italian fascism is obviously light years different than that of Nazism. But the degree of bad faith, Manicheism, sectarianism and hatred by the communists and their socialist-Marxist fellow travelers is limitless.

Why should the obsession with leveling equality be any less morbid and mortifying than the mania for hierarchizing races? Why should class (or even religious) genocide be less condemnable when in fact it has been even more devastating and deadly than race genocide? These questions remain unanswered; and the pseudo-arguments and pretexts of the communists (“one cannot compare what is not comparable;” “one cannot put on the same level, in full equivalence, Nazism which is destructive, and communism which is regenerative;” “one cannot confuse Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Castro, Mao and Pol Pot”) only fool those who want to be fooled.

The Cultural Hegemony Of The PCF And Its Fellow Travelers: 1945-1968

The intellectual and academic circles of Western Europe have always been more or less under the sway of politics. But there is a gap between the usual partial and fragmentary influence and the vast enterprise of nucleation and cultural quasi-domination of Marxism during the years 1945-1989. In the case of France, the hold on cultural life of orthodox communist militants and sympathizers (themselves often manipulated by Soviet agents), and then of the various post-Soviet leftists, was (and let’s not mince our words) – major if not exceptional until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Moscow communism was only brought to coexist with Maoist, Trotskyite, Castro and libertarian communisms from 1965-1968. There were of course, from the aftermath of the Second World War, brilliant anti-communist or anti-Marxist figures, such as Raymond Aron, Thierry Maulnier, Bertrand de Jouvenel or Albert Camus; but for more than forty years the pluralism of French cultural life was, to use two euphemisms, “framed and limited.”

The Marxist or crypto-Marxist inquisitors watched over and locked down the debate. Whoever wanted to make a career in the world of letters or academia had to give pledges to Marxist thought, and above all to avoid clashing head-on with the powerful guardians of the camp of the good.

Examples abound of victims of Marxist and leftist censorship, who saw their intellectual or academic careers compromised, hindered and sometimes broken – the sociologist, Jules Monnerot, for having dissected the Marxist revolution and revealed its character as a secular religion (Sociologie du communisme, 1963); the political scientist, Julien Freund, for his defense of realism in politics (L’essence du politique, 1965): the sinologist, Simon Leys, for his unmasking of Maoism (Les habits neufs du président Mao, 1971); the political scientist, Gaston Bouthoul, for his study of the recurrence of the belligerent phenomenon and his criticism of traditional pacifism, which has become the worst enemy of peace (Lettre ouverte aux pacifistes, 1972); the writer, Jean Raspail, for having prophesied the wild and mass immigration (Le camp des saints, 1973); the historian, Pierre Chaunu, and the journalist, Georges Suffert, for having denounced, very early, the right to abortion and the demographic collapse of Europe (La peste blanche. Comment éviter le suicide de l’Occident, 1976); the historian, Reynald Sécher, for having published La Vendée-Vengé. Le génocide franco-français (1986)… and many others.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, censorship and control took on other forms; but the same deleterious intellectual mores were perpetuated by one-thought and political correctness. We cannot ignore the troubles and career difficulties of a host of academics, such as, the sociologist, Paul Yonnet, for having meticulously analyzed the causes of the French malaise (Voyage au centre du malaise français. L’antiracisme et le roman national, 1993); the specialist in slavery, Olivier Petré Grenouilleau, for having revealed the extent of the Eastern and intra-African slave trade, and not only the Western one (Les Traites négrières. Essai d’histoire globale, 2004); the medievalist Sylvain Gouguenheim, for destroying the myth of a West that would never have existed without Islam (Aristote au Mont-Saint-Michel, 2008), etc. The list of pariahs, banished and marginalized, intellectuals, academics or journalists, is long, very long.

The benevolence, indulgence, connivance and complicity of a large part of the Western cultural and media circles towards Marxist socialism and communist abominations are part of a tradition that is already more than a century old. “There are none so blind as those who do not want to see.” In the 1920s, the edifying testimonies of numerous exiles were known, especially of the hundreds of cultural and scientific personalities, banished, expelled and threatened with being shot, if they returned to the USSR at Lenin’s personal instigation.

These intellectuals, many of them among the most prominent of the Russian intelligentsia, such as Sergei Bulgakov, Nikolai Berdyaev, Nikolay Lossky, Ivan Ilyin, Georges Florovsky, Semyon Frank or Pitirim Sorokin, were not hostile to the revolution as the GPU claimed, but opposed Lenin’s extreme and violent approach. In particular, they reproached Lenin, and this was especially true of the members of the Committee for Aid to the Hungry, for not taking the necessary measures to curb the terrible famine of 1921-1922. Slander, defamation, silence or oblivion were the lot of these first victims of the Leninist purges who, no doubt because of their notoriety, escaped death in the concentration and forced labor camps, created by Trotsky and Lenin, as early as June and August 1918, to lock up “kulaks, priests, White Guards and other dubious elements.”

In 1935, Boris Souvarine published his biography of Stalin (Stalin, A Critical Survey of Bolshevism), which dismantled “in the name of socialism and communism” the lies of Soviet “pseudo-communism.” In 1936, Gide denounced, in his book, Return From the USSR, the vices and defects of a system that he had defended until then. The result – les Amis de l’Union soviétique (the Friends of the Soviet Union) declared him a traitor and an agent of the Gestapo.

Then, in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), there were the instructive testimonies of former communist political commissars, such as, Arthur Koestler, or former members of POUM (anti-Stalinist Marxist Unification Workers’ Party), such as, George Orwell; (the members of the POUM were anti-Stalinist Marxists and not “Trotskyists” according to the accusation of Stalinist propaganda), who had been persecuted and murdered by the torturers of “orthodox communism,” during the Spanish war, as had been anarchist leaders. Among these official Stalinists, the political commissar, Artur London (the future author of the book, The Confession, which Costa-Gavras would bring to the screen) had shown an unquestionable zeal in the persecution of “deviationists.” Ironically, he was also accused of being an “internal enemy” and “a Trotskyite” during the Prague trial (1952).

One of the main heads of Soviet military intelligence in Western Europe, Walter G. Krivitsky, who moved to the West in October 1937, also provided a particularly valuable testimony on the democratic fiction of the various Popular Fronts, the action of the Comintern in the West and its relationship with the GPU. He was violently attacked by the American and European left in 1939, when he published two books on Stalin’s methods (In Stalin’s Secret Service and I was Stalin’s Agent, 1940), and finally was reported to have committed a suicide, in a Washington hotel in 1941 (though most likely killed by soviet agents). The testimonies of communists, who had fled to the West, and those of ex-international brigadists, who had survived the Spanish War, followed one another at a rapid pace, but the reaction of the socialist-Marxist left was always the same – insults, shrugs, skepticism and visceral hostility. As for the intellectuals of the non-communist left, they were conspicuous by their absence.

The manipulation of history by the PCF and its fellow travelers was almost total for decades. The PCF had collaborated for almost two years with the German National Socialist regime (from August 23, 1939 to June 22, 1941) under the German-Soviet Pact (of August 23, 1939), which was finally broken only by the will of Germany.

The PCF mandated Denise Ginollin and Maurice Tréand (between June and August 1940), to negotiate with the German authorities the re-publication of the newspaper, L’Humanité and the legalization of the party. The secretary general of the PCF, Maurice Thorez (head of the party from 1930 to 1964), was condemned for desertion; he was exiled to Moscow on November 8, 1939, and was not to return to France until November 27, 1944, six months after the D-Day landings, and after having been amnestied by De Gaulle. But of this dark truth, nothing was said, nothing was known. Thorez was even presented by the PCF as a proven Resistance fighter, an authentic maverick. The PCF claimed to have called for resistance as early as July 10, 1940, and proclaimed itself the party of the “75,000 shot,” when in fact only 4,500 were shot, and not all of them were communists. The same PCF praised for years ad nauseam the alleged managerial qualities of communist mayors.

The Kravchenko affair broke out at the end of the 1940s, when this Soviet diplomat, who had taken refuge in the United States, published in France, J’ai choisi la liberté (1947) – I Chose Freedom: The Personal and Political Life of a Soviet Official, a book in which he made startling revelations about the collectivization of agriculture, the size of the Soviet Gulag camps, and the exploitation of prisoners as slaves. Described as a defector and deserter, Kravchenko was immediately denounced as a spy by the USSR, by the sister communist parties and by their numerous fellow travelers. The weekly Les lettres françaises, a newspaper close to the PCF, accused him of being a disinformer and an agent of the United States. This was followed by a defamation trial in which the Communists put so-called “character witnesses” on the stand, former Resistance fighters, such as, Frédéric Joliot-Curie and Emmanuel d’Astier de la Vigerie. Kravchenko finally won his case in 1949… but died of a bullet to the head in 1966.

Sartre And Beauvoir: Two Famous Fellow Travelers

After the Liberation, Jean-Paul Sartre, who had become a fellow traveler of the PCF and an intellectual icon of the Marxist left, managed to make people believe that he had escaped from a stalag. The reality, however, was far less glowing – he had been released, most likely through the personal intervention of Pierre Drieu la Rochelle. After his release, Sartre once again became a quiet teacher in Parisian high schools (Pasteur and then Condorcet). But neither he nor his companion, Simone de Beauvoir, were ever members of the Resistance. On the contrary, Sartre wrote at least two articles in the collaborationist magazine, Comoedia (in 1941 and 1944); and Beauvoir, who was dismissed by National Education for a sinister case of lesbianism whose victim was a young teenager, got a job at Radio-Vichy, where she delivered twelve broadcasts, in early 1944, shortly before the D-Day landings. But this secret was well kept. (See Jean-Pierre Besse and Claude Pennetier, La négociation secrète, 2006; Jean-Marc Berlière and Franck Liaigre, L’affaire Guy Môquet. Enquête sur une mystification officielle, 2009 and Liquider les traîtres. La face cachée du PCF (1941-1943), 2007; and Gilbert Joseph, Une si douce Occupation… Simone de Beauvoir et Jean-Paul Sartre (1940-1944), 1991 and Michel Onfray, Les consciences réfractaires, 2013).

At Sartre’s request, the manager of the magazine Les Temps modernes, Francis Jeanson, wrote a spiteful review of The Rebel by Albert Camus in 1952. Camus made the unforgivable mistake of attacking Marxist mythology by claiming to be a member of the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist tradition. A servile opportunist, Sartre explained at that time: “Communism must be judged on its intentions and not on its acts.” On his return from the USSR in 1954, he asserted: “The Soviet citizen has…complete freedom of criticism.” He went even further, not hesitating to say during an interview for Les Temps modernes (1965): “Every anti-communist is a dog.” Admirer of the dictatorship of Fidel Castro at the beginning of the 1960s, he deviated from the Soviet line only to endorse the Maoist cause, after May 1968.

“Last but not least,” as the English say, this friend of the “suitcase carriers” [left-wing intellectuals and artists supporting and channeling funds to the FLN activists], and agents of the Algerian FLN, was among the “progressive” Parisian intellectuals who defended pedophilia in 1970. The libertarian, Michel Onfray, one of the few honest and courageous intellectuals of his generation, has listed the most prominent members of this group. In addition to the names of Jean-Paul Sartre and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, there were Louis Althusser, Louis Aragon, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Louis Bory, Pascal Bruckner, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Françoise Dolto, Jean-Pierre Faye, Alain Finkielkraut, André Glucksmann, Félix Guattari, Daniel Guérin, Guy Hocquenghem, Bernard Kouchner, Jack Lang, Jean-François Lyotard, Gabriel Maztneff, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Philippe Sollers, etc. (See Michel Onfray, La nef des fous. Des nouvelles du Bas-Empire, 2021).

Twenty years later (March 1990), invited to Bernard Pivot‘s program, Apostrophes, broadcast live on Antenne 2, Gabriel Matzneff presented, in front of a complaisant program director, one of his books relating his pedophile loves. The Canadian novelist Denise Bombardier was the only one to speak out on the set. She had to endure that day the sarcasm and mockery, and later the slander and conspiracy of silence of the cream of the Parisian intelligentsia. The pedophile epidemic, or fad, was then affecting the most unexpected circles on both the left and the right. The Church, which “promised eternal damnation to pedophiles,” was mocked and castigated. It had not yet made its complete aggiornamento. The “literary talent” and the “existential freedom” of “L’Ange Gabriel” (sic) (Maztneff), a worthy disciple of the Marquis de Sade and Gilles de Rais, was surprisingly appreciated and even admired by some of the principal theorists of the New Right.

Even a veiled criticism earned an impudent person the title of backward puritan, old-fashioned and frustrated. Fortunately, pedophilia was not “democratized” like drugs, but it would be no less than thirty years before the first cases of pedo-criminality, involving the French National Education system, the sports world and the Church, broke out. The Sauvé report on sexual abuse in the Church of France was not be published until October 2021. Olivier Duhamel, advisor to the presidents of the Constitutional Council, former member of the European Parliament of the PS, president of the National Foundation of Political Sciences and model hierarch of the French Republic, was only forced to resign in April 2021, after an investigation for rape and sexual assault on his minor stepson.

Sartre was accustomed to legitimizing ultra-violence – faithful in this to Vladimir Ilitch Lenin – but his companion, Simone de Beauvoir, was not to be outdone. Michel Onfray gives these few edifying words of the philosopher, in an anthology which deserve to be quoted in its entirety, these few edifying words of the philosopher: “Any revolution requires from those who undertake it the sacrifice of a generation, of a community.” And again: “One will sacrifice the men of today to those of tomorrow, because the present appears as the factor which it is necessary to transcend towards freedom.” (See Michel Onfray, Les consciences réfractaires. Contre-histoire de la philosophie t.9, 2013, p.374).

This is an era already long gone that could be considered as dead and buried, if a number of rabid and unyielding people did not still gloss over, not without explicit or implicit approval, the most vomitory remarks of the “Thénardier of philosophy.” To quote only one example, the communist, Alain Badiou, professor emeritus at the École normale supérieure, wrote not so long ago, thanks to the complacency of the newspaper, Le Monde, these words that one could believe to have come out of the pen of Fouquier-Tinville or Dzerzhinsky, but which are part of the pure Marxist rhetoric of characterization of the adversary: “And why on earth, if they are real enemies, would I be forbidden to insult them? To compare them to vultures, jackals, bitches, headless linnets, and even to rats, vipers, lecherous or not, even hyenas, typists or not?” (Le Monde, July 24, 2008).

Sartre did not fail, of course, to visit the leader of the German terrorist organization, the Red Army Faction, Andreas Baader (in 1972), nor to support the Khmer Rouge until their victory in 1975. Weakened and ill, he seemed to have finally become aware of the need to save all threatened lives, including those of his adversaries (the boat people) – but not long before he died.

Communists, Leftists And Other Useful Idiots: A Shared Hegemony

In the period following the events of May 1968, and despite the decline of the PCF, the hold of socialism-Marxism on people’s minds remained impressive. For the Catholic Church, since the early 1960s, it was no longer a question of anathema or condemnation of “real socialism” or communism, but only of dialogue and peace. The role of Pope John Paul II (and Lech Walesa’s Polish trade union Solidarnosc) was important if not decisive in the collapse of the communist system, but this should not hide the fact that a significant number of Catholic intellectuals eagerly accepted, and some even as early as 1936, the “helping hand” policy of the PCF. At the Liberation, the Resistance fighter, André Mandouze, (who later became actively involved with the Algerian FLN), called for “taking the outstretched hand of the Communists.” Emmanuel Mounier, founder of the monthly personalistic magazine Esprit, said in a July 1947 issue that he had agreed “to graft Christian hope onto the living areas of communist hope.”

A good number of Catholic fellow travelers found affinities in the humanitarianism of the PCF and the values of the Gospel. Liberation theology, which was very popular in South America, developed from 1968 onwards and withered away in the 1970s and 1980s, after the official warnings of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1984). But it has nevertheless formed or influenced many clerics and lay people in Europe, many of whom hold important positions in the Church today. From 1972 to 1989, the YCW (Young Catholic Workers) invited to its gatherings only “class” organizations (CGT and CFDT on the trade union level, PCF and PS on the political level). The membership of former YCW members in the PCF was massive. In November 1998, a former YCW activist was even elected head of the Jeunesses Communistes.

Thanks to the strong personality of John Paul II and the firm theological convictions of Benedict XVI, Rome condemned collaboration with the Communists to the end, thus giving the illusion of the Catholic Church’s capacity to resist any form of neo-paganism or immanent morality. But the degradation of Catholicism, which began in the late 1960s, has not been halted, nor has the agony of Christianity as a whole. In 2013, the pontificate of Francis most likely confirmed the marginalization of Catholicism and Christianity as a religion and most likely the end of Christianity as a civilization.

For more than 70 years, until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the testimonies about the political vices and the concentration camp universe of the communist countries did not stop accumulating. After Kravchenko, Souvarine, Koestler and Orwell, there were the clandestine notebooks of the Samizdat, Milovan Djilas with The New Class: An Analysis of the Communist System (1957), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn with The Gulag Archipelago (1973), and then Sakharov, Bukovsky, Kovalev, Zinoviev, Voinovich, Grossman, etc., and the criticism of totalitarianism by the French “new philosophers” (authors mostly from the Maoist left, such as, Alain Finkielkraut, André Glucksmann, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Pascal Bruckner, Christian Jambet, Guy Lardreau, Jean-Paul Dollé, Gilles Susong, etc.).

From 1975 onwards, the reports of Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodian and Laotian victims unreservedly denounced the terror, the crimes, the concentration camps, the forced labor and re-education camps. So many irrefutable testimonies, invariably considered suspect, worthless or false by so many pseudo “virtuous consciences,” the supposed guarantors of democracy and “human rights.” To tell the truth about the communist system was seen as playing into the hands of the right, to be an accomplice of fascism. The true or disguised fellow travelers sometimes admitted, in due lip-service, that communism had killed “tens or hundreds of thousands of people, even millions.” But this was not so serious, since it was in the name of “democratic values” and “the happiness of humanity.” After all, the inspiration was generous; and in any case, death of counter-revolutionaries or fascists was a legitimate sacrifice.

In the 1990s, after the dismantling of the USSR, the Soviet archives made available to researchers did not fail to meet serious resistance. According to the Trotskyite historian, Jean-Jacques Marie, long proclaimed “specialist on the USSR,” these Moscow archives had to be “taken with a grain of salt;” they contained only “imaginary revelations,” and could “be used for anything.” Another example is Stephen Koch’s book, Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Münzenberg, and the Seduction of the Intellectuals, published in 1993.(Its French title is, La fin de l’innocence. Les intellectuels d’Occident et la tentation stalinienne. 30 ans de guerre secrète, 1994). This book was significantly reviewed in Le Monde by the journalist Michel Tatu (“Le prétexte Münzenberg”, 20 October 1995). Koch highlighted the major role of the Soviet spy, Willi Münzenberg, and that of his illustrious recruits, in the unprecedented and formidably effective campaign of Communist manipulation that affected all Western intellectual circles until the end of the 1960s. But his book had a crippling flaw – it insisted on the degree of dependence and submission of the various Popular Fronts to Moscow, particularly in the case of the mythical Spanish Popular Front.

From 1981 to 1995, the two presidential terms of François Mitterrand were marked by various economic-financial scandals, but also by several political-cultural polemics that deserve to be recalled here because of their ideological background. The four communist ministers of Mitterrand obviously had only a symbolic place and role, but the cultural ascendancy exercised by Marxist socialism was of a completely different magnitude. A very large number of Socialist Party cadres had been trained in extreme left-wing parties (PCF, PSU or leftist movements). The lack of police zeal under the various socialist governments to put an end to Action Direct terrorism (1979-1987) cannot be explained otherwise.

The beginning of the 1990s was marked by two political-judicial cases – that of the communist Georges Bourdarel and that of the leftist Cesare Battisti. During the Indochina War, Bourdarel had joined the ranks of Ho Chi Minh’s Vietminh and had become a political commissar in Prison Camp No. 113.

According to the numerous testimonies of survivors of this concentration camp reserved for soldiers, he was guilty of torturing French soldiers. The historian Bruno Riondel, recalls in an edifying work, L’effroyable vérité. Communisme, un siècle de tragédies et de complicités (2020), that 278 of the 320 prisoners in the camp, that this French communist directed, died as a result of the treatment they were subjected to.

Bourdarel lived in the USSR and finally returned to France in 1966, under General de Gaulle’s amnesty law of June 18, 1966. Bourdarel was appointed assistant professor at the University of Paris VII, then promoted to senior lecturer and researcher at the CNRS. Several of his former victims (including a former Secretary of State for Veterans) recognized Bourdarel and filed a complaint in court. This was followed by a media-political campaign in his favor, with the support of some forty academics. Not surprisingly, the complaint against him was rejected, including by the European Court of Justice, because of the amnesty law. The Court of Appeals also ruled that the concept of crimes against humanity, as defined by the International Tribunal of Nuremberg, can only be applied to the events of the Second World War.

At the same time (under Mitterrand and Chirac), Cesare Battisti, ex-member of the group, “Prolétaires armés pour le communisme” (“Armed Proletarians for Communism”), and about 300 other Italian far-left terrorists, were given protection by the French government. Battisti was wanted by the Italian judiciary for committing several assassinations, but extradition was periodically denied, despite the fact that Italy is an EU country. Battisti was complacently portrayed by the mainstream media as a “man of letters,” and was supported, among others, personally by Mrs. Mitterrand, who did not hide her fondness for Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.

This wide political and journalistic network asked for Cesare Battisti “the indulgence due to the purity of his cause.” Thus, for fourteen years (1990-2004), he was able to enjoy, for ideological reasons, the protection of the authorities. His escape to Mexico was even facilitated by the French secret services. Protected in Brazil by President Lula, he was extradited to Italy after Bolsonaro came to power. On March 25, 2019, after admitting his responsibility in four assassinations, he declared before the Italian justice “to have deceived the intellectuals and politicians of the left who supported him.” No comment!

Another highly significant fact: under the impetus of two right-wing men, the president of the Republic Jacques Chirac and the president of the National Assembly Philippe Séguin, on December 5, 1996, on the occasion of the vote for an amendment to a finance law, the French deputies voted unanimously, minus one abstention, for an amendment granting “combatant status” to “Frenchmen who took an effective part in fighting alongside the Spanish Republican Army between July 17, 1936 and February 27, 1939.” One detail does not seem to have troubled them: the International Brigades, to which these Frenchmen belonged, had been created on Stalin’s express orders. The so-called “volunteers of freedom” or “of democracy” were in fact a real army of Stalin in Spain. The vast majority were members of the Communist Party, and the minority were “fellow travelers” belonging to left-wing parties.

From 1994, the new masters of the daily, Le Monde, a “progressive” newspaper called “the leading newspaper,” were Alain Minc, Jean-Marie Colombani and Edwy Plenel. Minc had the reputation of being an opportunist, a businessman and a globalist (he supported, in turn, Mitterrand, Balladur, Jospin, Bayrou, Sarkozy, Juppé and Macron). Jean-Marie Colombani, a socialist, supported Lionel Jospin and Ségolène Royale in the presidential elections. As for Plenel, former editor of the Trotskyite militant magazine Rouge, who became a journalist at Le Monde, he was known and well-regarded for his investigations and his methods similar to those used by a police informant. This journalist “with deep Trotskyist roots” (according to Colombani), was editorial director of Le Monde from 1996 to 2004.

In 2003, the accusations made by Pierre Péan and Philippe Cohen in their book La face cachée du Monde: du contrepouvoir aux abus de pouvoir (2003), led to a crisis for the daily newspaper and the end of this Troika. At the turn of the 21st century, the drift of the French left finally led to a real ideological fracture. In the years 2005-2010, the Islamo-leftism of Plenel and his friends – a strange combination of anti-capitalist radicalism, rejection of traditional secularism, praise for the dominant-dominated/exploited logic, hatred of French identity, Islamophilia and anti-Semitism (anti-Zionism being here only its cover) – constituted the main bridge between the Trotskyists and the political supporters of Islam.

The Polemics Around The Black Book Of Communism

In 1997, nine years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and three years after the new editorial board of Le Monde, Le livre noire du communisme. Crimes, terreur, repression (The Black Book of Communism) was published. This book, brought out by a group of academics, most of them from the extreme left, intended to take stock of the crimes of communism.

In his introduction, the author, Stéphane Courtois, gives a figure approaching 100 million deaths; and, in a direct attack on all conventionalism, makes a “polemical” comparison between the macabre counts of communism and Nazism.

The press of the left and the extreme left was indignant and protested. The Quinzaine littéraire of the former Trotskyite, Maurice Nadeau, L’Humanité of the PCF and Rouge of the Trotskyite theoretician, Daniel Bensaïd, were at the forefront. But they were also backed up by Le Monde and its subsidiary Le Monde diplomatique, where the pen of the communist, Gilles Perrault, was furious.

The historians who went to war against Le livre noir were all Marxist militants or ex-militants, such as, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, ex-member of the PSU, Annette Wieviorka, ex-Maoist, Annie Lacroix Riz, Jean-Jacques Becker, as well as, Madeleine Rebérioux, Marxist-Leninists, Jean-Jacques Marie, Pierre Broué, Alain Brossat, Denis Berger, Trotskyists or Trotskytizers, along with the American, Arch Getty, a pro-Stalinist revisionist (an avowed admirer of the works of the advocate of restalinization, Iuri Zhuykov, who is in the tradition of Western apologists for Stalin, such as, E. H. Carr, Joseph E. Davies, Grover Furr, Domenico Losurdo, Michael Parenti or Paul Robeson). The abnormal reactions of these negationist authors have been faithfully and usefully reproduced by Pierre Rigoulot and Ilios Yannakakis in their book, Un pavé dans l’Histoire. Le débat français dur Le livre noir du communisme (1998).

Unusually, Lionel Jospin, then Mitterrand’s socialist prime minister, with a well-known Trotskyist past, felt obliged to intervene personally in this debate in the National Assembly, thus flying to the aid of the communists, attacked by the right. On November 12, 1997, Jospin did not hesitate to proclaim “the” official version of history: “For me, communism is part of the Cartel of the Left, of the Popular Front, of the struggles of the Resistance… It has never infringed on freedoms… It is represented in my government and I am proud of it.”

Jospin was thus quick to bury the debate. The fault was to be found exclusively with Stalin, nor with Marxist socialism, nor with communism, and certainly not with French communists. It doesn’t matter what the reality is, what the objective facts are. The negationist reflex is always the same – to discredit the adversary; one can then blather on about intentions to make people dream.

Pierre Daix, a member of the Resistance, who was deported to Mauthausen, former editor-in-chief of Les lettres françaises and former deputy director of the Communist daily Ce soir, showed uncommon honesty and courage in his preface, written for the French-speaking public in 1963, to Solzhenitsyn’s book A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. “Let me say it right away,” he wrote, “there is no difference in nature for me between the camp of Ivan Denisovich and an average Nazi camp…” Horror is horror!

Taking the measure of the hostility evoked by Le livre noir, frozen and stunned by the virulence of the polemics, nearly half of the authors tried to distance themselves more or less from the main author of the work, Stéphane Courtois. One of them, Nicolas Werth, declared in Le Monde in 2000: “The more one compares communism and Nazism, the more the differences jump out.” Rather, let us paraphrase him: the more we compare them, the more obvious their analogies become.

But despite the socialist-Marxist fury and slander, the success of Le livre noir has not waned. It was enormous, having been translated into twenty-six languages and sold more than a million copies. The communists and their fellow travelers tried in vain to light counterfires, successively publishing two improvised works, the first of which was a botched job, Le livre noir du capitalisme (1998) and Le siècle des communismes (2000). The sales of both books were marginal, if not negligible, compared to those of Le livre noir. Finally, in 2002, a new collective work, entitled, Du Passé, faisons table rase! Histoire et mémoire du communisme en Europe (Let’s Wipe the Slate Clean: History and Memory of Communism in Europe), published under the direction of Stéphane Courtois, completed and extended the analyses of Le livre noir. In the preface to this book, Stéphane Courtois recalled the controversies that arose when Le livre noir was published and responded at length to its detractors.

Revolutionary Europe At The Beginning Of The 20th Century

The twentieth century is undoubtedly the time of the bloodiest international wars in modern history. An era of world wars, but also, for Europe, of the greatest internal or intrastate conflict; that of an overwhelming series of revolutions, riots, insurrections and civil wars. (See, Stanley Payne, Civil War in Europe (1905-1949), 2011). This succession of dramatic events began, between 1905 and 1911, with the Russian revolution of 1905, the Romanian peasant revolution of 1907, the Greek military coup of 1909 (a sort of counterpart to the Young Turks’ revolution of 1908), the Portuguese revolution of 1910, and the two Mexican and Chinese revolutions (from 1910 to 1911).

Many other insurrections or revolutionary civil wars occurred afterwards – in Russia in 1917 and in Finland in 1918; but also in many other countries, such as, Hungary (1919), Poland (1919-1921), Latvia (1917), Portugal (1919), Estonia (with a coup attempt led by the Comintern, in 1924), and Germany, where communist and revolutionary socialist riots and insurrections broke out from 1918 to 1923, and were severely repressed by Friedrich Ebert, a moderate social democrat, Chancellor and later President of the Weimar Republic. Again, Mexico (in 1922) and China (in 1927) must be mentioned, and of course Spain (with the socialist insurrection of 1934 and the military coup of 1936 followed by three years of civil war).

During World War II and immediately after the end of the conflict, three other countries experienced bloody civil wars: Yugoslavia (with the struggle between Tito’s Partisans and Mihailovic’s Chetniks, from 1941 to 1944), Italy (1943-1945) and Greece (1944-1949). Adopting a broader perspective, authors as diverse as Eric Hobsbawn, François Furet, Ernst Nolte and Enzo Traverso have come to use the concept of European civil war to refer to the entire 1914-1945 era.

Finally, during the Cold War (1945-1989), insurrections broke out in many Third World countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, Biafra, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Yemen, Chad, etc. Of all these “developing” countries, Castro’s revolution and dictatorship were among the least bloody, with approximately 10,000 victims for a population of 7 million (although this is only true if we exclude the number of deaths during military interventions in Africa and the number of exiles and refugees who disappeared at sea, which, according to the specialist Rudolph J. Rummel, could be over 77,000).

In Europe, the deadliest civil wars of the first half of the 20th century were in Finland and Greece, at least in proportion to the population. The Finnish socialists were the first socialists in Europe to launch a revolutionary insurrection against a democratically elected government, in 1918. The Spanish socialists were the second to do so, in 1934. In Finland, a country of 3.7 million people with a parliamentary and democratic regime, 36,000 people died in three and a half months of civil war (9,700 leftists were executed and 13,400 died in prison camps). In Greece, a country of 7.5 million inhabitants, in five years of civil war (1946-1949) 120,000 people died. In Spain, a country of 25 million inhabitants, in three years of civil war, there were approximately 300,000 deaths (150,000 died in combat or were murdered in the rear guard, in each of the two camps), to which must be added approximately 20,000 judicial and extrajudicial executions of left-wing militants between 1939 and 1942 (Socialist-Marxist historians put the number of executions carried out by Franco’s regime at 114,000 to 130,000, while their opponents estimate the figure at 25,000 to 33,000.

According to the most recent rigorous study by Miguel Platón, between 1939 and 1960, there were 24,949 death sentences, of which 12,851 were commuted and 12,100 were executed, a figure from which it is necessary to subtract the executions of common criminals and add the extrajudicial executions of the spring and summer of 1939, for a total of approximately 14,000. This frightening figure does not need to be exaggerated to reflect the scale of the repression that followed the victory of the national camp. Nevertheless, it remains light years away from the massacres committed by the National Socialist and Socialist-Marxist regimes).

The Soviet “Model” And Its Grim Record

Of all these revolutions and civil wars, the case of Russia remains the most emblematic. The bibliography on the events of 1917 is immense, but it is much more limited on the civil war. Two of the best works on the subject are those of Vladimir Brovkin, Behind the Front Lines of the Civil War: Political Parties and Social Movements in Russia (1918-1922), published in 1994, and Orlando Figes, A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891-1924. We should also mention the book by the American Stanley Payne, Civil War in Europe (2010), and the works of four other historians: the socialist Marc Ferro (October 1917: A Social History of the Russian Revolution), the liberal, ex-communist Alain Besançon (Les Origines intellectuelles du léninisme, 1977), the conservative Richard Pipes (The Russian Revolution, 1905-1917), and the European nationalist, Dominique Venner (Les Blancs et les Rouges, Histoire de la guerre civile russe 1917-1921, 1997).

In 1917, the Russian autocracy was a dying regime even before it was attacked. The terrible mistakes of the Tsarina and Tsar Nicholas II, the sulphureous reputation of Rasputin, the dithering of the ministers, the incompetence of the various governments, the deterioration of the social and economic situation, the crisis of supplies and the terrible losses of the army (2,500,000 dead in two and a half years of war against Germany) were all skillfully exploited by the reformist and revolutionary opposition. On the eve of the revolution, everyone conspired against the regime – the revolutionary movements, of course, the Social Revolutionary Party (S.R.), advocating the populist and peasant uprising, and the Social Democratic Party, representing the Marxist tendency; but, also, the liberal monarchists, the republicans and the moderate socialists. As for the army, it was singularly divided.

The February Revolution of 1917 was a military uprising, grafted onto proletarian movements of limited importance, but skillfully exploited by the revolutionary minority. The day after the abdication of the Tsar, on March 15, 1917, the liberals and moderate socialists formed a provisional government, most of whose members were Freemasons. These men had no idea of the tide that was about to sweep them away. At their head, the revolutionary socialist, Alexander Kerensky, played a pitiful role. The majority of the army cadres welcomed the abdication of the Tsar, if not favorably, at least passively, as if it were a weight off their shoulders. Almost all the future leaders of the white armies, Kornilov, Alexeiev, Denikin, Kolchak, Kaledin, etc. were hostile to monarchic restoration. Totally discredited by the last years of the reign of Nicholas II, the monarchy had no really determined and unreserved defender.

The Bolsheviks (the majority and extremist faction of the social-democratic party), were able to set up an efficient and well-branched-out clandestine organization in the army and in the main industrial centers. In February 1917, they had only 24,000 members; but between April and October 1917, they recruited a considerable number of militants (300,000) and became masters of the country. However, this figure is only relatively significant when compared to the 170 million inhabitants. In fact, it is even proportionally smaller than that of the Spanish CP in July 1936 and that of many other communist parties in later periods.

On October 25, 1917, Lenin, Trotsky and their supporters launched a putsch or armed uprising in Petrograd against Kerensky’s provisional government, which they officially declared dissolved the next day. In the November 1917 elections, which had been planned before the October coup and which Lenin did not dare to suspend, the Bolsheviks obtained only 24% of the votes and were largely defeated. Lenin then decided to dissolve the democratically elected Assembly. On January 19, the Red Guards expelled the deputies manu militari and forbade them to enter the building.

The Bolshevik coup d’état and war-communism, whose foundations were laid by Lenin in the spring of 1918, were the two direct causes of the Russian civil war. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed in March 1918, between Germany and revolutionary Russia, was by far the most decisive “foreign intervention” insofar as it gave a second wind to the Bolshevik regime, enabling it to mobilize troops for the civil war. Unlike the Reds, the Whites had no political unity. They included all the opponents of Bolshevism, from the extreme monarchist right, which was in a very small minority, to the socialist-revolutionaries, as well as the republican conservatives, the Great Russian nationalists and the Cossack autonomists.

Unlike the Bolsheviks, the Whites had no worldview, no system of ideas, no powerful project, no mobilizing myth. They are very divided about the future of Russia. Two examples. First, the agrarian problem; while it conditioned the support of the peasantry (85% of the population), the Whites did not provide any solution. They should have supported the mass of small farmers to the detriment of the big landowners; but they do not do so. Second, the Whites should have supported nationalisms. But, blind, they sank into the reactionary defense of “Great Russia, one and indivisible.” Facing them, Trotsky and Stalin, undoubtedly the most important Bolshevik leaders, knew how to mobilize and put military specialists at the service of the revolution, and especially in much greater numbers than the counter-revolutionaries.

The human cost of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia is known today. Scientific estimates of the death toll caused by the dictatorship of the Communist Party since 1917, excluding the enormous losses of the Second World War, leave no room for doubt. The death toll from the first phase of collectivism alone, implemented by Lenin, assisted by Trotsky, from September to October 2018, is 10-15,000. In two months, the Cheka and the Bolsheviks executed three to four times as many people as the Spanish Inquisition did in three and a half centuries (2,500 to 5,000 deaths between 1478 and 1834), and two to three times as many as the Tsarist regime did in ninety-two years (four to six thousand deaths between 1825 and 1917). For the pre-Stalin period alone (1917-1921), the death toll is between 500,000 to 3,000,000.

The Communists and their fellow travelers maintain that there were at most one to three million deaths and only under Stalin. But according to the Soviet demographer Maksudov, the regime-change in Russia led to 27.5 million victims from 1918 to 1958.

In light of the archives of the former USSR, the Russian historian Volkogonov gives a total death toll of 35 million. Robert Conquest speaks of 40 million; Zbigniev Brzezinski of 50 million; Rudolph Rummel of 62 million. The demographer Kouganov and the president of the Commission for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression, Alexander Yakovlev, put forward an even more terrifying overall figure: 66 million dead. According to the most modest estimate, used by most Western historians, there were no less than 15 to 20 million deaths, a figure far exceeded by Mao’s China (40 to 68 million deaths according to Jean-Louis Margolin).

The World Balance-Sheet Of Socialism-Marxism

Stéphane Courtois summarizes the voluminous work that is Le livre noir in a particularly striking introductory chapter. He gives a first result which is nothing more than “a minimal approximation.” The death toll of communism is staggering: USSR 20 million, China 65 million, Vietnam 1 million, North Korea 2 million, Cambodia 2 million, Eastern Europe 1 million, Latin America 150,000, Africa 1.7 million, Afghanistan 1.5 million; the total approaches 100 million.

We knew almost everything about communism or Marxist socialism from the beginning, since the October Revolution of 1917, everything about the crimes, repression and horrors unleashed by the socialist-Marxist ideology. We knew that the criminal practices, that the “class genocide” was the consequence of the perversity of its ideology, of the morbidity of its leveling obsession. It was known that the Soviet concentration camps were an invention of Trotsky’s, and it was known that Stalin, and later Mao, had only taken up and continued the work where Lenin had left it. It was known that the essence of “real socialism,” of Marxist socialism, was cold terror, applied in a meticulous, almost scientific way. It was known, in short, that crime was at the heart of the theory and practice of “scientific socialism.”

But there still remains a need to be informed and to admit the horror. The most terrible criminal enterprise in history was aided and abetted to the end by a large part of the Western political and cultural elite. The responsibility and guilt of the latter are undeniable.

Unsurprisingly, the European people most immune to the socialist-Marxist ideology and system are those who have suffered from it for so many years, such as Hungary, Poland, the Baltic States, etc. But their leaders are, after all, no more critical than Russian President Vladimir Putin. During the Plenary Session of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club (22.10.2021), Putin said unambiguously:

“The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist the flags as we say, go right ahead. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones – all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs. This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices, which we, fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what colour or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”

We would like to hear sometime a Western leader express himself in this way on this subject.

Such cruelty, inhumanity and sectarian blindness – despite a century of irrefutable testimony and the atrocious record of historical research – is truly appalling. It is said that there are places of memory. But there are also privileged places of lies, manipulation and hate. “What serves the revolution is moral,” Lenin used to say. The historian, journalist and former trade union leader at the CFDT, Jacques Julliard, once declared: “To see the last Marxists in this country taking refuge in a morality of intention will remain, for those who like to laugh, one of the jokes of this end of the century.”

For my part, in the face of the denials of the communists, their social-marxist fellow travelers and other “useful idiots,” and in the face of their offenses against the memory of so many millions of victims, I am reminded of two funny lines from the film, Shawshank Redemption. Banker Andy Dufresne, sentenced to twenty years in prison for murder, meets his future friend Red for the first time in the yard of Shawshank prison. When Red asks him, “Why did you do it? Andy replies, “I didn’t do it, if you must know,” and Red jokingly replies, “You’ll like it here, everyone is innocent.”


Arnaud Imatz, a Basque-French political scientist and historian, holds a State Doctorate (DrE) in political science and is a correspondent-member of the Royal Academy of History (Spain), and a former international civil servant at OECDHe is a specialist in the Spanish Civil War, European populism, and the political struggles of the Right and the Left – all subjects on which he has written several books. He has also published numerous articles on the political thought of the founder and theoretician of the Falange, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, as well as the Liberal philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, and the Catholic traditionalist, Juan Donoso Cortés. This article is translated from the French by N. Dass.


The featured image shows the Khmer Rouge killing babies at the infamous “killing tree.” A painting by Vann Nath, ca. 1990s.

Europe Is Not A Nation. The Union Is Not A State: An Interview With Ryszard Legutko

Should the European Parliament exist? What is the ultimate purpose of the supranational structure known as the “European Union?” The philosopher and statesman, Ryszard Legutko tackles these questions with elegant clarity and razor-sharp wit.

Ryszard Legutko is a member of the European Parliament. He is the author of The Demon in Democracy, Society as a Department Store: Critical Reflections on the Liberal State, and, most recently, The Cunning of Freedom.

The conversation that follows, with the journalist Karol Gac, first appeared in the Polish weekly, Dorzeczy (November 7, 2021). We are so very pleased to present this first English translation.


Karol Gac (KG): In which direction, in your opinion, is the European Union heading?

Ryszard Legutko (RL): It’s heading toward oligarchy that is being created by European institutions and the strongest West European countries. And since Europe is dominated by the Left, this oligarchy is united by leftist ideology, aiming at radical restructuring of European societies. While it is true that the powerful states do not necessarily want to dissolve into this European mass, nevertheless they strengthen European structures because through them they pursue their interests. For example, those structures are used by Germany, which for historical reasons cannot impose itself too much with its political power; or by France, which dreams of French leadership in Europe; or smaller countries, such as, the Netherlands and Belgium, which want to strengthen their position in this way. The oligarchy that is emerging is therefore particularly dangerous – it is ruled by the powerful group of a few countries, which use institutions to seize powers not conferred upon them by treaties, and impose an extremely harmful ideology.

KG: Are we witnessing a Hamiltonian moment and an attempt to build a European superstate?

RL: For the European Union, any opportunity is good to advance centralization. It seemed that the poor response to the pandemic would discredit the EU institutions; yet these institutions took advantage of the pandemic by creating programs for a reconstruction fund and a common debt, which is, of course, another step towards centralization. They immediately claimed for themselves jurisdiction over who gets the funds and who does not. This may be a Hamiltonian moment, but it is important to remember that this trend has been going on for a long time.

Ryszard Legutko in the European Parliament.

KG: Given this, isn’t the dispute over the primacy of law fundamental?

RL: Of course, it is. In Polish history we have repeatedly stood up for freedom. It is no different now, when we oppose the new despotism that the European oligarchy is trying to impose on the rest. The primacy of European law is a relatively new invention. In the past, this concept appeared in rulings of the CJEU [Court of Justice of European Union], but it was just the judges’ hypercreativity. We know the judges cannot make law. The law is enshrined in the treaties; and there is not a word in them about the primacy of European law. Pulling the general principle of the primacy of European law out of the hat now is the most ordinary political sleight of hand and proof that violating the Treaties with impunity has already become an everyday practice in the European Union.

It is characteristic that in the European Parliament, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, did not even try to justify her position, when she responded to the speech of Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki. And she did not use any arguments, because no such arguments exist. If they did exist, we would be constantly reminded of them. So, what von der Leyen was left with were threats! That is why Poland can’t back down on this issue. If we give in, in the face of obvious lawlessness, it will be tantamount to surrendering power over Poland to Brussels and its superiors.

KG: However, observing the recent disputes with Brussels, one can come to a conclusion that the EU institutions are acting according to the principle, “What can you really do to us?” We seem to be pointing out that there is no basis for this in the treaties, but these things happen. The law of the stronger?

RL: Definitely. The European Commission, supported by Parliament and unopposed by the major political players, has introduced an unmitigated heavy-headedness into European politics. Actually, the signs of it had been visible before, but the official signal was given by Jean-Claude Juncker when he described the Commission as a “political” institution – if political, then engaging in political conflicts and power struggles. Previously, the Commission was something like a secretariat that prepared projects for implementation. It seemed that von der Leyen would break away from the Juncker model; but she did not. Another institution that does a lot of bad things is the European Parliament, previously derided as decorative. Well, that has changed. It is now a politically rampant institution, controlled by the Left and, as the Left does, it wants to build a brave new world. The despicable role is played by the European People’s Party – the largest group in the European Parliament – which has long since abandoned its Christian-democratic identity. Its leader, Manfred Weber, has made it into a lickspittle dragoon of the left, directing all its energy to fighting the remnants of the political Right.

KG: It seems that the European Union has been at a crossroads for several years. Perhaps the main reason for the Union’s crisis is simply a crisis of its institutions?

RL: The main source of the EU crisis is the European Union itself. Its rulers do not draw conclusions from what is happening. The reaction after Brexit was characteristic; when instead of decreasing the intrusiveness of interference in the affairs of member states, they increased it. Why is this so? The Union contains fundamental structural errors. The most detrimental to the Union is the principle of an ever-closer union. This slogan means that the regulations and laws that have been written down are actually provisional and that their violation and stretching can be tolerated, provided that it serves the purpose of greater federalization and integration. This of course results in contempt for the law, as we see in the Court of Justice of the EU. It is a political institution where government appointees use the law to deepen the centralization of the union. The judges of the CJEU behave politically and their rulings are sometimes completely bizarre and expose their political agenda.

Here is an example. Hungary sued the European Parliament over the activation of Article 7. The issue was that twelve hours before the vote, we received instructions from the Bureau of the European Parliament that abstentions would not be counted, which was a clear violation of the Treaty. The Treaty explicitly stipulates that in the case of votes on Article 7, all votes cast count. So, it seemed that the Hungarians had to win. However, the CJEU ruled that the abstentions could be considered as votes not cast. This is sophistry of the most shameless kind. With such an attitude to the law, it is difficult to gain respect for the European judges and treat the CJEU as a bastion of the rule of law.

Another structural error of the Union is that its institutions are not accountable to the electorate. Who are the commissioners? They are people parachuted in by governments and approved not individually, but as the European Commission in its entirety by the European Parliament. They have no responsibility because they are not accountable to any electorate. Being not accountable to their voters, they can ignore; but they are rather soft-spoken when it comes to confronting the powers that be. Who is Vera Jourova, a Czech commissioner, a figure who emerged out of nowhere, and what legitimacy does she have to threaten and bully the Polish government? An institution acting in this way must sooner or later degenerate, and this is happening before our very eyes. As for the European Parliament, it should not exist at all. The Union is not a state and Europe is not a nation.

KG: All the more so since the European Parliament was created on the assumption that there is a European demos. Meanwhile, we know perfectly well that it does not exist, because there are many nations in Europe.

RL: We have a completely bizarre situation in which 650 MEPs (out of about 700) are deciding on Polish affairs, but they are not accountable to the Polish electorate. The whole idea of parliamentarianism is that the representatives are accountable to the voters; and here we have zero accountability. That is why the European Parliament has degenerated the fastest and the most spectacularly. It is an unbalanced chamber with no respect for rules, including those of decency. The creators of the Union, if they acted in good faith, assumed that the European institutions would self-limit; but they did not create any effective mechanisms that would force those institutions to do so. The art of system building lies, among other things, in creating means to inhibit the natural tendency of institutions to grow, to increase their power, to create pathologies. To cure the Union of its ills, a fundamental reform is needed.

KG: We have the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council. What is the point of having so many EU institutions if, at the end of the day, it turns out that decisions are taken either in Berlin or within a narrow circle, in a rather non-transparent procedure?

RL: This is another of the structural flaws of the European Union. There are at least three power structures in the EU. The first is what is enshrined in the treaties. The second is the real power structure. Germany is the dominant power because it is the strongest country; and no matter what we write into the treaties, that power is not invalidated. It is simply a fact. The system enshrined in the treaties cannot therefore operate in isolation from the real system of power; and this makes the decision-making process unclear and arbitrary. And then there is a third power structure that goes beyond the EU but is very much embedded in it, namely, ideological power.

The Euro-enthusiasts like to repeat the slogan that the EU is unity in diversity. Nothing can be further from the truth. There is no diversity in the Union. There is one ideological model established by the Left; its consequence being the growing despotism. Consequently, the people who are thriving in the Union are former communists. For them, it is like their second youth. Look, for example, at the former communists, once Poland’s prime ministers, who are now MPs. The EU probably brings to their minds the memories of the good old days of proletarian internationalism and the alliance of brotherly parties. In addition to the old communists, there is, of course, the new left with their gender ideology. All this makes the EU a somber place. Unfortunately, Poland and Europe are dominated by a mystified image of the EU, where its dark side is ignored. We won’t learn about this side from professors of European studies, because they either don’t know or don’t want to know how the EU works – and what they do is not far from ordinary propaganda.

KG: Assuming that the EU will continue in the current direction, is this project tenable?

RL: Everything is tenable for a while. The question is, for how long? Many people want the EU to continue its existence, not least because of its demoralizing nature. We can imagine a person entering – forever, as he hopes – into this large, complex system, receiving a very good salary, being fed with the ideology that he is working for a better Europe, or pretends cynically that that he is doing it. But such a person is not quite representative of the current mood. There is growing discontent among citizens, mainly in Western Europe. No wonder that a lot of us expect that the political forces that criticize the EU will come to power and stop the current trend. Until there is a political counterweight to the ruling oligarchy in the EU, the process will unfortunately continue. If a few relatively conservative and sovereign governments were to be formed, the situation could improve. If not, the dissatisfaction will grow and take various forms, also more violent than now.

KG: And maybe this counterbalance will be created by Poland? Some time ago the Law and Justice Party gave an impetus to create an international alliance of right-wing forces.

RL: Those who want more oligarchy in the EU (including the European Parliament and the European Commission) launched a big project called the “Conference on the Future of Europe,” which is a preparation for the next federation leap. There must be a response from those who oppose it. In the West European countries, a large part of the citizens, who look critically at the EU, do not have sufficiently influential political representation, and their voice is eliminated from the public sphere. That is why East European countries, like Poland, have a role to play.

KG: When joining the EU, many people thought it was a gentlemen’s club, where there was a community of values, and decisions were made together. Maybe Poland perceived and still sometimes perceives certain things too naively, and we have just received lessons in realpolitik?

RL: That is indeed how we thought about the EU, although the EU was never such a club. But previously, in the ECC, there was a relative political balance, which today has been replaced by monopoly, and there was also a partial ideological balance, which has been replaced by mono-ideology. Let us not forget that as a result of the educational collapse, European elites today represent a very low intellectual level and are effectively grouped together. The old Europe that we longed for under communism is as alien to the European Union as vegetarianism is to cannibals. The experience of the Union has also given us the opportunity to get to know ourselves better. The emergence of a group of compatriots who do not want the sovereignty of Poland must be shocking. Not many years have passed since the fall of communism, and still 1/3 of Poland prefers to be governed by someone from outside. It is a very dangerous signal. If these proportions were different, it would be easier for Poland to take a leading role and act more boldly in Europe and create a broader sovereignist and reformist front in the EU.


Should The Founding Principles Of The U.S. Be Retained?

Would it be useful or realistic to re-name Manhattan and call it Transhattan in respect of gender fluidity? Would that new name not also reveal that not only is gender fluid, but New York City is fluid in the sense of being a crossroads of the world? Millions emigrated into the USA through Ellis Island in Manhattan. If Manhattan is renamed Transhattan, would not the past migration of people be seen for what it is — a dramatic change in demographics revealing the inherent changeableness of the world, and that radical change is progress? Would not the re-naming help us see that deviation from the norm is normal. Our norms of today would have been considered deviations from the norm a couple of centuries ago. The philosopher Heraclitus said “all is change,” so if we accept his slogan as truth, “change” is the stable reality.

Yet, such a change does not sit well with most of us. We see that there are many radical changes in social composition, creation of new societies and even new civilizations throughout history. Yet, aspects of life, especially the biological compatibility and union of male and female seem to be an ongoing and ahistorical desideratum. Although this writer is a creationist, even evolutionists like Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” This means that the development of the individual organism mirrors the evolutionary development of the human race. If this statement were to be taken seriously, even the atheistic gender fluidity crowd would have to accept gender bifurcation as nature’s final say in the matter. Gender bifurcation into male and female is a phylogenetic reality for all times, cultures, places, societies, governmental systems, etc. Therefore, it trumps our individual “choices.”

How can we resolve this tension between ongoing changes and desire to maintain the status quo which seems to have consolidated radical “changes” that occurred in the past?

We saw a tremendous influx of people into the USA from 1890-1920 but in the short run it led to massive poverty, and especially brought socialistic and communistic ideas into the USA that were less popular at that time than they are today. There was no USSR, no PRC, no commie Vietnam, no Venezuela, and no Cuba. There was no welfare system at that time, and unlike today the USA was not a place where 39% pay income tax and 60% do not (2020). There were no violent, unemployed punks in the street chanting for the overthrow of the USA for extensive periods of time or occupying Wall Street or setting fires or defacing buildings or looting millions of dollars worth of Levi’s, headsets, and panties from stores. Fluidity seen as historical change, as movement of people, as innovations in our everyday lifestyles and in our mores is thus the norm. Yet, we desire to control, to resist change, to harbor grievances against “change agents.” Both trends are historical realities.

This tension has in the past given rise to dialectic thinking whereby the German philosopher Friedrich Hegel took the “transcendental categories” of another German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, in a new direction. For Kant, those categories of the mind gave order and direction to our choices and understanding, but the Hegelian dialectic found an inherent tension in those categories which Kant failed to describe or analyze. Thus, for Hegel, there is in all historical experience a Thesis which is opposed by an Antithesis. The Antithesis negates the Thesis, and the Thesis is then replaced by a Synthesis. The Synthesis is not merely a mixture of Thesis and Antithesis, but a historical condition that is different from Thesis and Antithesis, and this “condition” could not have emerged had there not been a conflict between Thesis and Antithesis. The Synthesis becomes the new Thesis, and the march of time and history continues. The path taken is one of continuous progress towards the Absolute. The perfectibility of mankind is implied.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel said that this dialectic was more specifically grounded in economics than in Hegel’s philosophy as seen historically by looking at the “class struggles” throughout the ages. This dialectic they believed would and should culminate in the classless society called “communism.”

The most valid alternative to the dialectical reasoning arising out of Germanic culture is the one found in the English/Protestant tradition. Although Marxists would disparage this tradition as being bourgeois and proposing values opposed both to dialectic and to the proletariat, the English/Protestant tradition allows for progress without contaminating that progress with an ideal of a perfectly just social order and governance. Rather, it is a progress that is mediated and limited by purity of our motives, the requirements of conscience, the moral law as revealed in the Old Testament, and through faith in both the reason and revelation of the Messiah through the New Testament.

Faith is the linchpin of this progress since it is a progress supported by Almighty God through His Providential will. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as well as Protestant colonial leaders who preceded them purposely cultivated their spiritual lives through Biblical study and prayer. Further, John Locke, Jonathan Edwards, and William Penn provided the philosophical and theological momentum for the ideal of the USA as a city on a hill. Although it may not be obvious on its face, the struggle we are seeing about human sexuality, economic and political justice, and health and happiness are at bottom a profound philosophical and theological struggle between German culture and English culture; and the English tradition is by far more vibrant and hopeful.


Jeffrey Ludwig teaches philosophy in New York City and preaches regularly at pulpits in Queens, a borough of New York City.


The featured image shows, “Declaration of Independence,” by John Trumbull; painted in 1819.

Wokism – Or Capitalism?

Some speak of Black Lives Matter and of LGBT,
of Cancel Culture, Wokism and such great games as these.
But of all the world’s great challenges, none can compare
With banks, stocks, and production – the Real Capitalism.

All the Western World is engaged in great changes under the guise of “Wokism,” whose most extreme aspects occur in English-speaking countries and are exported and then mirrored in various non-English-speaking countries. But what is being “woke?” I do not pretend to have the answer, and yet there are some possible interpretations that inform us as to what lies before us.

As I see it, the real problem is not Wokism, BLM, or the LGBT et similia movements, but what is behind them, and what silently exploits such movements, the honesty of whose members I do not object to at all. I regard them attack columns – but they are not the headquarters. And if we just focus on the “foot-soldiers” and disregard the HQ and its objectives, we will be misled because we will not have the panoramic view, which alone can give us the much-needed insights.

So, what is the HQ? In the USA, many people are certain that they know for sure: Communists, or former Communists; Soviet Zombies who have come back to life to destroy the USA. To be fair, there are certain aspects of Cancel Culture which suggest a link with what took place in the past. In Stalin’s day, books were modified, in order to cancel those parts related to the “enemies of the people;” or entire books were canceled. Paintings too were modified. In Stalin’s time, the famous painting showing Lenin’s 1917 speech at the Smolny changed very many times – each time cancelling (deleting) a recently liquidated prominent Bolshevik who had fallen out of favor – so that at the end, in its definitive version, only Lenin and Stalin appeared to have been there.

Whilst Mussolini never played this game, Hitler indulged in the same Stalinist tricks, along with book-burning. And the sport of destroying statues is as old as the statues themselves, being an integral part of any given riot or revolution, since the ancient Egypt – think of Akhenaton.

We could suppose that the root of this phenomenon lies in Hegel’s philosophy, and the evolution of left and right Hegelianism (hence, Nazism and Communism). But I do not think so. Not at all.

Rather, capitalism is the answer. I know that such an answer will sound quite misleading, odd, amazing, especially in capitalistic countries – what has capitalism to do with Wokism and the various movements derive from it?

An explanation is very much needed; but it will involve a broader and greater context. So, bear with me, even if what I am going to say may seem off-topic. But it will all make sense once we reach a conclusion.

Let us go back a couple of centuries. In the early days of the 19t century, when Britannia ruled the waves, when Wellington had just defeated Napoleon, and the London stock exchange ruled the world of finance. The incipient Industrial Revolution was triggering a deep change of British, and then European and American, society – for the new entrepreneurs had to resolve a remarkable problem: How to balance supply and demand?
Anyone who has studied at least some economics knows what a problem this is. But for those who are not aware of this problem, let me provide an explanation.

Let us take the example of a hypothetical early 19th century tissue producer, Mr Tissue, whose factory works well, is powered by coal, and its production is shipped by horse-towed wagons.

Let us say that this Mr. Tissue created a new cotton tissue, which becomes a fashion hit; and is so successful that suddenly everybody wants it, and ready to pay – let’s say – $1.00 per piece. Mr. Tissue’s factory is flooded with orders. What does Mr. Tissue do? Seeing the success, he decides to exploit the situation and to at once fulfill all the orders. He immediately improves production. His factory now operates longer hours and Mr. Tissue buys all the cotton that he can find.

Then, he encounters his first problem. The cotton producer he normally relies on, just does not have as much cotton Mr. Tissue needs, who now has to look for additional cotton producers he has never dealt with. The new cotton producers that he contacts say, “OK, we have cotton, but you must pay it 10 cents per pound, instead of 9 cents as you previously did.” Well, Mr. Tissue knows that he will sell a lot of his products, so, if he pays 10 cents of 9 cents, he will earn a bit less than he hoped, but his loss is not so great either. So, Mr. Tissue accepts. But shortly after, even these new producers are not enough, and Mr. Tissue has to find additional producers, and he now accepts paying 11 cents per pound for the cotton that he greatly needs.

At the same time, Mr. Tissue realizes that he does not have as many specialized workers as needed to increase production. So, he looks for additional specialized workers. But, unfortunately, there are none available, as all are already working in other factories and all are paid the same wages as his own workers – $1.00 a day. What does he do? He offers to pay $1.10 per day to new specialized workers. But gets his old specialized workers upset. And so, to keep production moving along, Mr. Tissue has to pay his old specialized workers $1.10 per day as well.

Of course, given such a remarkable 10 percent wage increase, he gets all the workers he needs – but he now has all his fellow entrepreneurs very upset, who must also increase the wages of their specialized workers’ wage – to keep them from all moving to Tissue’s factory.

Then Mr. Tissue realizes that he needs much more coal than in the past, because his factory is working twice as much as before. This means that he also needs more wagons (and horses and fodder) as well as more carriages to bring in the additional cotton and to ship out the finished goods (the tissues). And in all these cases too, given what is available on the market, he can’t get the needed additional coal, horses, wagons and fodder unless he pays more than the price he usually paid in the past. Costs rise; but Mr. Tissue doesn’t care, because he has plenty of orders still coming in.

Then, orders start to decrease, because almost everybody has the new cotton tissue, and suddenly, in a month, Tissue’s production must be reduced by one-third. What does he do? To limit his losses, he reduces the price of his tissue to 90 cents, lays off many workers, stops purchasing cotton and sells some horses and wagons, perhaps at a loss.

Finally, Mr. Tissue also is stuck with a lot of cotton, coal and fodder. He could use it in production, but the problem nobody needs Mr. Tissue’s products as much, since most people have bought lots. So, it is possible that Mr. Tissue will have to further reduce production, or stop it altogether. Hence, many more workers will lose their jobs, and their wages.

This brings about a small financial crisis will start, because without a wage the laid-off workers won’t buy as much as they used to. This leads to a domino effect, affecting other producers whose products will also not be sold in the same quantities as before. On the other hand, it is also possible that, when looking at his budget, Mr. Tissue’s business proves less convenient than he thought – he may have spent much more than he anticipated in wages, and in the purchase of horses, wagons, cotton, and coal. Tissue may end up losing everything; or, he might lose a percentage when business got bad. How does Mr. Tissue avoid these problems in the future? What does he do next time?

The early 19th century economists faced this problem. It was a new one, because never in the past did so a massive production occurred, which also meant that a massive amount of money could be lost or earned in a matter of weeks, or even days.

The main problem affecting economy was clearly the economical crisis. You can have a crisis because of overproduction – Mr. Tissue’s case at the end of the story – and underproduction – Mr. Tissue’s case at the beginning of the story.

Bear in mind that the final price is made up of the cost of the raw material, the cost of manpower, the cost of power, the cost of logistics, the cost of the infrastructure maintenance, the savings to invest in new machinery, and, last, by the entrepreneur’s profit.

In case the market suddenly asks you for more items than you are producing, or can produce, you must find the raw materials and do the handiwork as fast as you can, practically on the spot, no matter how expensive that can all be. And this means that you can earn less than usual – because if you sell your products always at the same price – and you must do that, otherwise you lose market shares – the expenditure rate composed of the prices of raw materials, wages and all the other items, will be higher than usual. Thus, your net income will be lower.

On the other hand, when the market suddenly stops purchasing your products, you may find yourself with a lot of unsold products. And, no matter if you hang onto unsold inventory or sell it at a lower price – you lose money.

Boring? Very boring? How does all this useless economics stuff pertain to the topic at hand? Wait a bit more and you’ll start matching the dots.

How to avoid this crisis in the first place was the question. The answer provided by some economists in the first half of 19th century was – “planning.” But planning what?
The crisis occurred depending on how many goods were sold, or not sold – thus, it depended on the buyer. Hence the analysis of economist focused on the consumer, and they soon realized how unpredictable the single consumer really is. Therefore, would it not be better if, somehow, one could predict which kind of goods and assets the consumer could want over a lifetime?

But soon economists also realized another cause of this crises – the unpredictable number of consumers. If a single consumer was a “mad variable,” whose needs more or less could be somehow predicted, thus allowing for production synchronized to consumer demand – what if the number of global consumers changed suddenly? A consumer plus another consumer meant a family; and in nine months one could expect the consumers to become three. But what if the consumers – especially in Catholic countries – did not stop and kept increasing like rabbits? The family could hardly enhance its income as much as needed to keep their initial life standard, and this would cause a reduced in purchasing power, and thus a reduction in the goods they bought, which on a general level would be mirrored by a reduction of industrial production. So what?

The smart answer was “social planning,” because a planned society was supposed to have planned behaviors and thus planned and predictable needs, to be fulfilled through predictable and planned consumption – and hence by a long-term planned economy.

Are you connecting dots? What renders consumption unpredictable? Families. Why? Because families have children, and often they do not care how many they have. So, what does it all mean?

Such behavior has two bad consequences: Families can’t spend so much on other expensive goods, because they must eat, and dress, first. Plus, the unpredictable number of children renders consumption by families, and thus family behavior and expenditure, absolutely unpredictable. And this is bad for a planned economy – and economy in general.

In other words, traditional, unplanned families cause an economic crisis. Additionally, an economic crisis is the nightmare, the doom of capitalism. It must be avoided at any cost. Consequently, traditional, unplanned families are the enemies of capitalism because they are the origin of the economic crisis.

On the other hand, as it has more or less been explicitly said over the 60 years ago, whoever has fewer or no children, has much more money to spend. Thus, whoever has no children is welcomed; well, not completely welcomed, otherwise in a generation the market would be over, due to the death of all the consumers – and then who would capitalism sell to? Think what a bad business proposal that would it be. Now what? Well, the best thing is to have planned families – two parents and two children. Don’t forget the UN supported Family planning campaigns, mostly in the 1960’s, in places as different as India and the USA. If at that time it was said everywhere that India was overcrowded in comparison to her food production, and this such a campaign could be understood as reasonable – what about the USA? Were they short of food? Not at all. Let’s keep this in mind and let’s go move forward.

If a family plans to have two children, there is an additional unpredictable factor – how many males and females? One and one? Two and zero? Zero and two? This is troublesome, for how can you have a long-termed plan for shaving blades, or for make-up production in the next twenty years? It’s annoying. What to do? Well, for instance one could introduce a planned system but… but that would mean planning in advance what you want to have – not how many children, but how many children of which sex? It is scientifically doable, but how do you introduce the concept?

If you destroy the standard traditional family – as the Nazis did, and as the Soviets before Stalin did too – and if you introduce a “new” family, relying on birth-assistance, that is to say, on birth-planning, you can do it.

Are the dots connecting yet? The “new” family can be exploited as a tool to let the capitalistic enterprises gain much more through a planned economy based on planned life. Thus, if the capitalist system supports such a family, it is in its own monetary interests – not in the interests of families and the people.

One step more. And it will be a nasty one, but we’ve already taken quite a few nasty steps that one more is not such a tragedy.

There is another group of “bad consumers” – the old and ill. What do they live for? Only to be a burden on the public health system, if any, or on their families. Thus, aside from the expenditures welcomed only by some of the Big Pharma, what do they live for?

Moreover, they don’t have that many needs (except for medicines and assistance), and most of them can’t pay for it, either. So, what to do? How can they live without assistance, if they can’t pay for it? It would be a life without dignity… so, let’s kill them off, because no life deprived of dignity is worth living, is it? And this is what is currently done – officially in half a dozen countries of the world, and unofficially probably in many more. In fact, these people are killed simply because they are a financial burden and no longer an active portion of the consumer-world.

And, and what about those affected by mental illness? They too can’t have a life with dignity (and are unable to spend their money, if they have any). So, what do they live for?
OK, there would be small problem, that is to say – who defines this “standard of dignity?” And who determines whether these “standards” are being “enjoyed” or not the people to be killed? But this is a small and negligible problem. It’s not worth discussing, as every is on agrees that life without “dignity” is not worth living.

Next point – how do you achieve all these goals? By destroying mankind as it is now and by modeling, by shaping a new one.

If you want to build something, the first thing you must do is to clear the ground. Now, this is exactly what Liberals, Wokists, Cancel Culture and so on are doing. They are cleaning the ground to “build back better” – which means a new society, a new society they claim that will be more equal, more democratic, and so on. But this new society in fact will be shaped as I described above.

As things are, they are sweeping away whatever that is linked to identity – identity in general. They are sweeping out existing culture, removing statues, modifying books, and they are sweeping away personal identity – because what kind of family can here ever be, if gender is a choice and does not depend on how the body is, and identity is no longer something determined by nature and self-existing but is something determined by…? What? Whom?
By the rulers. And the rulers will determine it using an indirect approach – there will not be a law telling the people how to be. There will be a system of laws allowing this or that and causing a pre-emptive self-censorship – as already happens – and an instinctive conforming to the general behavior.

Once personal identity and identity in general is cancelled, people will simply be a mass of units, whose behavior will be directed from outside in an indirect and effective way by, and according to, indirect pressures. The more time will pass, the more rigid and apparent the pressures and conditioning will be.

Additional point. How to prevent insurgency? Simply by depriving the people of its own money. How? By paying low wages to all who are not embedded, or enrolled into the system. And how can you keep wages low? By the same system used at the eve of the Industrial Revolution – by relying on a wide offer of manpower, because there will always be the poor – who are poorer than the workers working for you – and who will therefore accept that same job for a lot less wage. Thus, you can blackmail your worker; and, if that worker does not accept your terms, you can say “goodbye.”

Really? Yes, really. Otherwise, what are we importing illegal immigrants for? For the sake of human solidarity? If that were true, we would be investing and developing instead in their countries (with lesser and longer-termed profit). What a terrible idea! No, no! We need them to keep the price of tomatoes low in the supermarket! Were the tomatoes to be picked by regular workers, they would cost four times their current price! Would you like that? And what about the onions? Would you really like to spend that much for your salad?

And what can we do with all this manpower? Well, the not-specialized manpower can die when exploited, just like a squeezed lemon. Specialized manpower will get something more, because, by the way, they are also the consumers. But they will get a low wage, big enough to purchase what the planned economy allows them to get, but not a cent more.
Think of how expensive and time-consuming it is simply to buy a new car, not to say a home. But in the happy planned future, the vast majority will have long-termed rented cars (as it is usual and cheaper in the USA and not at all in Europe) and will live in rented homes, because only the happy very few will be able to purchase a home, because of their wages, and because of the high prices.

If the majority of the people have to depend on a small wage, just allowing them to have all they think they need for their daily life (and “daily-life” will be precisely planned), the big corporations will earn a lot more money, a lot longer, given the combined effect of planned production to fulfill planned consumption, all feeding the planned life of each human being. And when the human being can no longer afford to pay for what he/she needs, how can he/she still live with dignity? Thus, euthanasia, and requiescat in pace, and let’s make use of the body for transplants, for beauty farms and, last but not least, ash for the ground (never waste anything – don’t forget – that is an economic moral duty).

Is it all clear now?

So, as you see, Wokism, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Cancel Culture they all appear as tools used and exploited by something different. And they are effective because they do not know how, and which way, they are being exploited, and to which aims. They are genuinely certain that they are fighting for rights and liberty, for a better new society. But in fact they can be compared to a smoke screen – and behind that screen you have the worst and most greedy capitalism.


Ciro Paoletti, a prominent Italian historian of military history, is the Secretary General of the Italian Commission of Military History. He is the author of 25 books, and more than 400 other smaller works\, published in Italy and abroad, and mostly dealing with modern and contemporary Italian military history and policy.


The featured image shows, “The Tower of Babel,” by Lucas van Valckenborch; painted in 1594.

Five Eyes, Or More?

The increasingly assertive position of China is impacting the international community—and especially in Asia, where there is growing mobilization of resources and the activation of new, and attempts at reactivating old, alliances. The most obvious examples of this realignment are Quad, AUKUS, ANZUS, FPDA, ASEAN, ASEAN-ARF, ShanGriLa Dialogue (just the ideas of reactivating SEATO and ANZUK are missing).

Alongside these evident blocks and agreements, intensive work is being done to strengthen agreements relating to intelligence, cyberwarfare, and electronic and satellite surveillance. This sector, always a very delicate element in the relations between states and the dynamics of security pacts, suffers particularly from the heavy offensive by Beijing. China wants to maintain its the technological advantage, while also expanding it as much as possible, with respect to countries potentially hostile to its hegemonic projects.

In an unusual way, as it deals with issues that should remain confidential, a vast, but complex, debate was launched on the possibility of expanding the so-called Five Eyes, which brings together the intelligence communities of USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Some potential new members could be India, South Korea and Germany and Japan. There has been much speculation on the accession of these states. This is because of paragraphs included in a bill, by the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations of the United States House of Representatives.

These paragraphs, which announced the option of news members for Five Eyes and is part of the National Defense Authorization Bill for 2022, asked the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, to report by May 20, 2022 on the effectiveness of the Five Eyes mechanism and to consider the benefits of expanding the agreement to include South Korea, Japan, India and Germany. This decision would require extraordinary levels of trust to share a state’s most delicate secrets with another nation. For this reason, most intelligence relations are bilateral, with the exchange of each report assessed on a risk/reward basis. The Five Eyes is a unique example where the intelligence-flow is shared between five allies, while other multilateral agreements, such as those within NATO, are much more cautious in exchanging information.

The Five Eyes originated with Winston Churchill’s decision, in 1941, to include the US in one of the most sensitive secrets of those times: Britian (with the help of Polish and French experts) had broken the German encryption system, “Enigma.” The secret (known as “Ultra”) was tightly controlled by Britain, and the idea of sharing it with the Americans was not without risk.

But it turned out to be a very good political calculation. After the war, this Anglo-American cooperation was formalized in the UKUSA agreement of 1946. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand joined the agreement through their Dominion status within the British Commonwealth and which was referred to as “Echelon” and was formalized in successive stages between 1960 and 1971. Other Dominions—most notably South Africa, India, Pakistan, and Ceylon—were not included, which gave the idea that the Five Eyes was a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) club. This may have been true in the 1940s and 1950s, but it has little or no validity today, when all five countries are now fully multiethnic.

What is true, however, is that these five countries see the world in similar terms and have worked closely on most crises since 1946, including the Korean War, the Cold War, and the so-called Global War to Terror. Today, all five assess the potential dangers of China’s rise in similar terms. This agreement, first of all, with its political, and later military and security nature, however has suffered various problems over the years, including serious ones, such as the refusal of the US to support Great Britain during the Suez crisis; the weak assistance of Washington to Britain in the Malaysian and Borneo insurgences; London’s reluctance to participate in the Vietnam War; New Zealand’s long standing ban on nuclear-armed warships accessing its waters—and all this without speaking of the several (and not all made public) infiltrations of double agents within the same intelligence structures of the five.

Despite the political appeal of Five Eyes enlargement in the face of China’s growing assertiveness, it is likely that several of the five countries and (especially) their intelligence agencies will oppose it. The key topics will focus on the quality of intelligence services on the one hand and on the alignment, continuity, and, especially, the priorities of foreign and security policies of potential adherents.

In fact, none of the four potential adherents fully shares the opinions of the Five Eyes allies on global threats (and not only vis-à-vis China), and on how to deal with them. This without considering that beyond a substantial unanimity, the Five Eyes also have their profound differences over issues of no small importance.

Technically, the four potential candidates have good quality intelligence services; but as mentioned, their strategic priorities are different. For South Korea, the main target remains North Korea, and the National Intelligence Service has also been closely associated with extremist political groups.

Both Germany and Japan, since 1945, have been uneasy that intelligence plays too influential a role in national policy-making systems and bodies. For many years the German intelligence service was based near Munich, while the federal government was in Bonn, inevitably pulling intelligence away from politics.

In Japan, intelligence services are fragmented, although they are probably more effective than they appear. But situations like those in South Korea have also been recorded in relations to the domestic political system.

Of the four potential candidates, only India has structures similar to those of the Five Eyes (thanks to the British matrix). But a significant part of its activity is oriented to opposing Pakistan; and only recently has New Delhi begun to give Beijing the same attention that it has been giving to Rawalpindi—as a perceived level of systemic threat.

But the real differences are found in the general policies of these potential countries. Germany maintained close trade ties with Russia, despite the Ukrainian events and resisted all attempts (some very heavy) to cancel the Nord Stream 2 project. India also has wanted to maintain its close relations with Moscow, especially in the area of procurement of weapons’ systems, and has been careful not to allow the Quad to turn into a full strategic alliance against China and keep it as a security tool for the panregion.

South Korea does not want an overly conflicting relationship with Beijing, both for commercial reasons and for the moderating role that China may play in the face of North Korea’s recurring excesses; again in terms of regional policies, there is little prospect of a strengthening of relations with Tokyo, which Seoul also sees as a dangerous commercial rival, not to mention the open questions about fisheries, territorial waters and a controversial past (when Japan, between 1910 and 1945 dominated the peninsula).

Germany, too, could be lukewarm towards an agreement that could turn into a tool to exert pressure for a tougher approach towards Moscow and Beijing (and to damage its enormous trade and energy relations with China and Russia).

In absolute terms, both of quality and of means, a real (more than potential) adherent could be France, whose services, even if strongly oriented towards Africa, represent a highly respected element. However, even for Paris the need to maintain fluid commercial relations (especially with China) could be an element of fragility in its membership of the Five Eyes. However, it must be remembered that the USA itself, which has identified Beijing as a global competitor, has important trade relations with China and still wants to keep the door open to dialogue, re-proposing the same dynamics that they fear to see applied by their partners (potential or present) in that context.


Enrico Magnani, PhD is a UN officer who specializes in military history, politico-military affairs, peacekeeping and stability operations. (The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations).