America’s Camp Of The Saints Problem

America’s Camp Of The Saints Problem, by Rod Dreher.

Why is the Central American caravan a Camp of the Saints problem? That’s the title of an extremely controversial 1973 French novel set in a racial dystopia. It is a frankly racist book, but one based on a highly relevant question. Its author, Jean Raspail, once explained how he got the idea for it. From Wikipedia:

Raspail has said his inspiration came while at the French Riviera in 1971, as he was looking out at the Mediterranean.

What if they were to come? I did not know who “they” were, but it seemed inevitable to me that the numberless disinherited people of the South would, like a tidal wave, set sail one day for this opulent shore, our fortunate country’s wide-gaping frontier.

In the book, a massive flotilla carrying vast throngs of migrants from India makes its way to France. Most of the narrative is taken up with France’s preparation for their landing on the southern coast. Raspail’s is a slashing satire of French elites — governmental, media, academic, religious — who have lost faith in their own civilization, and who are prepared to surrender their country to the dreamers unarmed invaders, out of humanitarian motives.

The novel’s racism is offensive and deeply off-putting. This makes it difficult to appreciate what this extremely dark novel gets right.

Raspail — a Frenchman writing about Europeans — foresees a Europe that is no longer morally capable of doing what it takes to defend itself. In fact, the book draws the same conclusion about the West in general. Raspail understands Western civilization to be something of, by, and for white people, though he creates a sympathetic character who was born in India, but who has adopted Western culture and wishes to defend it against invaders from back home.

What the book asks us today is: How far would we go to defend the sovereignty of our nations from invaders who want to cross our borders not with weapons to conquer, but nevertheless to settle here? If 5,000 armed guerrillas tried to cross the US-Mexico border, there’s no question how the government would respond. But if 5,000 migrants, including women and children, tried to do this, what then? Would a US president ever order troops to open fire — and if so, under what circumstances? When, if ever, would lethal force be morally justified against unarmed invaders?

To open fire on unarmed people trying to cross the border would be a moral horror. Surely there are many non-lethal ways to stop this, though it’s interesting to note that the Trump administration can’t seem to get a handle on the problem. …

At what point will a European navy open fire on a boat carrying migrants? If that happens, how will the European public react? If that action is unthinkable, doesn’t that give a tremendous advantage to migrants?

The raw logic of Raspail’s novel says that the only way to defend Western civilization from these invaders is to be willing to shed their blood. In the novel, only a few Westerners are willing to do that, and they fail. The rest collapse, spiritually and morally exhausted.

hat-tip Stephen Neil