In ‘The Camp Of The Saints’: The Reactions Of Elites And Workers
Another excerpt from Jean Raspail’s magisterial and prophetic novel, The Camp Of The Saints, this time concerning two types of people who together make-up a large portion of The West’s population in 2015 A.D.:
From Chapter Eighteen [re-paragraphing mine]:
[Albert Dufort, radio talk show host and spokesperson for the Elites]: “[…]You see, we wealthy nations-condemned our Third World brothers. We set up our walls, walls of every description—political, moral, economic. We sentenced three-quarters of the earth’s population, imprisoned them, put them away, not for life, but for lives. Yes, for countless lives on end. Now, all at once, this gigantic prison is rising up in peaceful revolt. Our captives have begun to escape. A million strong, they’re on their way, bearing no arms, no malice, and seeking just one thing: justice!
“So long as this planet of ours, this speck of a planet, shrunken to nothing by a hundred years of incredible progress, still bears two kinds of men, a scant five hours apart by plane, one whose average yearly income is no more than fifty dollars, and the other, some fifteen or twenty thousand—so long as that’s the case, my friends, nothing will convince me, with all due respect, that one isn’t an exploiter, and the other, his victim …”
“Exploiter, my ass!” Marcel exclaimed to Josiane. “That’s a good one! What’s for supper tonight?” (He squinted toward the oilcloth on the table, proletarian throne in the middle of what passed for a living room.) “Noodles, headcheese, a few scrambled eggs. What’s that to brag about? And the TV payment? And the payment on the car? And how about my shoes? Look, nothing but goddamn holes!”
“Oh, not you,” said Josiane. “He means all the ones with money.”
“Oh yeah? Then let ‘em shove some of it my way, why don’t they! I don’t go around barefoot. I work for a living …”
Let’s give ear, in passing, to this discordant note. Good, canny common sense, a little uncouth and harsh—in other words, healthy—draws itself up to its dignified height and kicks up a fuss. Just a bit more effort and it could save the day. Marcel is no fugitive from the Ganges. He works, he wears shoes. He’s a hundred percent man, and make no mistake! With some prodding you could get him to admit that he’s part of a civilized country, that he’s proud of it too, and why not? Peekaboo, it’s our little white friend again, our foot-slogging soldier of the Western World, hero and victim of all its battles, whose sweat and flesh seep through all the joys of Western life.
But he’s hardly the man he used to be. He only goes through the motions now. This volley won’t hit the mark. And there won’t be another. When the time comes, he’ll sit back and watch, as if none of it makes any difference to him. When he suddenly finds that it does, it will be too late. They’ll have made him believe it’s no skin off his nose, and that only the others—all the ones with money—will cough up and pay, in the name of equality, and brotherhood, and justice, or some such nonsense that no one dares question. And of course, in the name of the beast. But that’s something they won’t tell Marcel. Would he know what they meant? … In the name of the beast, Durfort stood guard, manning the ramparts of radioland. Nothing escaped his watchful eye. Soon he was at it again, sharpening up his aim:
“I believe in premonitions,” the oracle’s voice continued. “And it seems I’m not the only one. Like all of you just now, I heard Monsieur Jean Orelle. Well, something tells me that this warmhearted man has the same feeling I have, the same premonition, though he can’t come out and say so. The feeling, my friends, that the refugee fleet is heading for Europe, for France. Yes, our very own paradise. And I don’t mind admitting that I hope I’m right. … Let me read the official communiqué once more, the finest document France has given the world since the Declaration of the Rights of Man. I quote: ‘Since nothing on earth could give us the right to stand in the way of this pathetic fleet, the government of France has decided to work out, with its Western partners, an appropriate welcome in a framework of international cooperation, socialistically structured …’ End of quote … And there we are!
“Yes, there we are, my friends, with hope and justice for all mankind! At long, long last! The earth’s most dispossessed and wretched souls begin to stir, and finally the mighty West takes note. Finally she turns a willing eye and looks despair and misery square in the face. Ah yes, my friends, what a day this is! What a wonderful day! For all mankind! Because who can believe—with our talk of welcome, our plans for cooperation—who can believe that the time hasn’t come for our own victims, too? Time to give our poor, numberless masses a share in that affluent life that they see being lived all around them, while they barely survive?
“No, clearly, we’re going to be forced to revise our thinking, reexamine the ties that bind us, man to man. We’re going to have to share our profits, invest them in the social good, conceive our economy in terms of love, not personal gain, so that each one among us, even the lowliest outcast from the Ganges shore, can finally claim his right to a rich, full life. There’s more to be said, my friends, and we’ll say it in all good time. For the moment I’ll only say this: we’re all from the Ganges now, and let’s not forget it! … Good night, until tomorrow.”
“You’ve been listening to Albert Durfort and his nightly view of the news … And now, men, a word of advice. For those weekends in the country, those hunting trips, those long romantic walks through the woods … Or just for those quiet evenings by the fire, crackling and dancing on a fine old hearth … It’s suede for the well-dressed man! Yes, suede. More than just for your casual wear, more than just to relax in, suede lifts you up to the heights of fashion …”
Marcel felt reassured. Drill-press machinist at the Citroën plant, he never wore suede; he never went hunting; he never took walks with his pals in the woods, only sat by the highway, feeding his face, watching the cars and waiting to see whether one would crack up; he couldn’t care less about sitting by the fire, finding all his aesthetic delights in the beauties of the four-burner stove. Still, he wasn’t the sort to turn up his nose at fancy slogans. In fact, he enjoyed them. That suede to relax in, to lift you up to the heights of fashion … Well, that stuff wasn’t for him, but it gave him a good-natured chuckle. And somehow he felt better knowing that such things existed.
Straightforward radical, barroom debater when the spirit moved him, he blew up the system left and right with his verbal blasts. But have a few honest-to-goodness crises, and all of a sudden, deep down inside, he began to get worried, wondering if maybe the crumbs that fell from the hands of the bosses and profiteers, decked out in their suede, weren’t better than no crumbs at all. He wouldn’t admit it, not even to himself, but the idea had struck him that, as long as the bosses are rolling in money, and killing themselves to make more—between two hunting trips, of course, or two elegant evenings by that fine old hearth—the people manage to get their share, even if, sometimes, it may take a little squawking. … Yes, in his heart of hearts Marcel adored the suede way of life. You could think what you wanted about it and no one could stop you. But blow it to pieces? Bring it toppling down, if the chance ever came? No, never! At least, not Marcel! Then defend it, maybe? No, not damn likely! You don’t defend social injustice, not even when you’re much better off than the ones who have justice to spare. There it is in a nutshell. Could that be one explanation?
Marcel is the people, his mind is their mind, half Durfort and half suede, not exactly the most compatible couple, but getting along by and large. And the people won’t lift a finger to help. Not in either direction. We’re not still back in the Middle Ages, when the poor exploited serfs would take cover behind His Lordship’s walls the minute the tocsin pealed its warning that bands of marauders were loose in the land. If the boss—sorry, I mean the seigneur—didn’t have enough troops, then the workers themselves—excuse me, the serfs—would take to the ramparts, while their wives went bustling about, preparing the cauldrons of boiling pitch. When you worked for His Lordship, you may have lived badly, but at least you lived. Not so when the lawless bands came plundering through, and left you with nothing to do but starve.
Marcel isn’t any less bright than his forebear the serf. But the monster has eaten away his brain, and he never even felt it. No, Marcel won’t go running to man the ramparts against the Ganges horde, the latest marauders to pillage Fortress West. Let the troops fight it out by themselves. That’s their job! And if they retreat, if they turn tail and run, it’s not up to Marcel to bring up the rear and rush into the breach! He’ll sit by and watch today’s forts being sacked, watch them loot today’s castles: the steel and concrete walls; the cellars, stuffed to the rafters with food; the storerooms, crammed with supplies; the workrooms, never idle; the parapet walks, the drawbridges, thundering under the constant tread of feet; the fertile lands; the tower strongholds, filled with gold and silver. Yes, he’ll let them all go. He can’t think anymore. They’ve gelded his will of its instinct for self-preservation. …
That night, having heard his Durfort, Marcel would fall asleep with an easy mind. “You see,” said Josiane, “like I told you, it’s the bosses who’ll pay for that gang. All the ones with money. Besides, so they’re heading this way in their boats, all million of them. What’s the fuss? They’re not going to get here so quick, don’t worry! Take my word, that … that armada, like they call it, won’t come anywhere near us. And even if they do, if they’re such poor things, like everyone says, well …” And on, and on, and on. … Hook, line, and sinker. Thank you, Durfort!
Ah…The Suicide Of The West…in suede.
Speaking of the Elites: let us turn inward and hear from one of our homegrown [and laughingly called ‘conservative’] Elitists, courtesy of Mark Steyn:
John Kasich was on TV last night and Sean Hannity asked him how many of these belligerent young Muslim men posing as “fleeing refugees” America should take, and he blathered on a bit about our good hearts and putting safeguards in place to ensure that fellows with ISIS membership cards would be asked to resign first and a lot of other twaddle. And then he said limply something like, “Your families and mine both came here as immigrants, Sean.”
That’s it? Sentimentalist rosy-hued Ellis Island twaddle as the Middle East (here’s that word again) implodes and ISIS games the system? And Trump’s supposed to be the moron?
Could Kasich be one explanation?