Editor's Note: The following interview with Alain de Benoist was first published in Boulevard Voltaire; translated from the French by Tom Sunic
Q: The photo of that Syrian child stranded on the beach is now in the process of turning a new page in European opinion. In our epoch of “storytelling” it evidently suggests that the migrant issue is a “human drama.”
Of course it is a “human drama.” One must have dry heart or be blinded by hatred if not recognizing it. Muslims threatened by jihadist Islamism, entire families fleeing the Middle East destabilized by Western policies — of course this is a “human drama.” But this is also a political issue and even an issue of geopolitics. Hence the need to figure out the relationship between the political sphere and the humanitarian sphere. Well, experience has shown that “humanitarian” interventions generally only aggravate matters further. The dominance of the legal categories over the political categories is one of the major causes of the impotence of the states.
The migratory tsunami which we are witnessing is adding up to a disaster. First, there was a calculation based on thousands of refugees, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands. As of now more than 350,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean over the recent months. Germany has agreed to accept 800,000 of them, far more than the entire registry of its own birth rates each year. We are way ahead of the interstitial immigration of thirty years ago! Faced with such an onslaught the European countries are asking themselves: “How are we going to welcome them?” Never do they ask themselves: “How are we going to prevent them from coming in?” Even the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius considers “scandalous” the attitude of the countries wishing to close their borders. Will it be the same way when the number of migrants’ entries is counted by the millions? Will the politicians be then more concerned about countless “human dramas” happening in the world right now than about the common good of their fellow citizens? This is the heart of the matter.
Q: Beyond the emotions triggered by the “shock of the photos”, which arguments are being offered by those who want to convince us of the merit of the migrations?
Those arguments are being displayed on the two levels; first the moral argument (“these are our brothers, we have a moral obligation to them“); and then the economic argument (judging by the words of William Lacy Swing, the Chief Executive of the International Organization for Migration; “Migrations are necessary if we want a prosperous economy.” The first argument scrambles together private and personal morality with public and political morality, both of them having their origin in the belief in universalism. Those who use these arguments consider that before being a Frenchman, a German, a Syrian or a Chinese, individuals are “human beings” first, that is to say, they belong in an immediate fashion to humanity, whereas in fact they belong to humanity in a mediate fashion through specific culture in which they were born and which they have inherited. For them, the world is inhabited by abstract, rootless “persons” whose common trait is interchangeability. As for cultures — they see them only as epiphenomena. This is what Jacques Attali said in the Cadmos magazine in 1981: “For me, European culture does not exist, nor has it ever existed.”
The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations has recently released a report about the European countries which says that “ in the absence of the replacement migrations the population decline is inevitable.” It also states that “for Europe, as a whole, what is needed is twice the level of immigration, as recorded in the 1990s” — barring which the retirement age will be pushed to 75. Europe is aging, immigration will save it; this is the perfect illustration of the idea that men are interchangeable, regardless of their origin. Therefore economic imperatives must prevail over all other imperatives. The ethics of “human rights” is only a cover-up for financial interests.
Q: Unquestionably there is also a demographic aspect to it. You know those words by the former Algerian President Houari Boumédiène), which the right-wing folks always like harping on: “Some day millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere and move to the Northern Hemisphere. They won’t go there as friends; they’ll go there in order to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The belly of our women will secure us victory.” Is this the Big Replacement?
According to some, Boumédiène must have uttered these remarks in February 1974 at the 2nd Islamic Summit in Lahore, Pakistan, According to others, he said those words on April 10, 1974, from the rostrum of the UN. This uncertainty is revealing, especially as the full text of this alleged speech of his has never been made public by anybody. Houari Boumédiène, who was not a fool, knew well that the Middle East is in the Northern Hemisphere, not in the Southern Hemisphere! So there is a good chance that this is an apocryphal text.
As far as this topic is concerned it is more prudent to listen to demographers. The population of the African continent has risen from 100 million in 1900 to over a billion today. In the 2050, or thirty-five years down the road, there will be between two and three billion Africans, with four billion by the end of the century. Although demographic relationships cannot be reduced to a communicating vessels phenomenon, it would be naive to expect that such a prodigious population growth, which we ourselves have also fostered, will have no impact on the future migrations. As Bernard Lugan notes: “how can we hope that migrants will stop their rush into the European “paradise” if this “paradise” is undefended and inhabited by old men? “The Big Replacement? Well, personally, I prefer to speak about “the Great Transformation.” In my opinion the Big Replacement will occur with the replacement of the man by the machine, that is to say the substitution of artificial intelligence to human intelligence. A danger far closer than we can possibly imagine.