The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail: Book Review

Jean Raspail
The Camp of the Saints
Social Contract Press, 1994

The Camp of the Saints was published nearly 45 years ago and remains one of the most prophetic works on the destruction of Western Europe due to third-world immigration.

TheCampOfTheSaintsI first heard about this novel when it was mentioned multiple times by Steve Bannon. When describing the migrant crisis he said, “It’s not a migration. It’s really an invasion. I call it the Camp of the Saints.” Previously, Bannon said, “It’s been almost a Camp of the Saints-type invasion into Central and then Western and Northern Europe.” The book’s been mentioned several times on Tucker Carlson Tonight, and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has recommended it. (RELATED: Bannon’s Canon: A Steve Bannon Reading List)

The similarities between the novel’s story and today are uncanny. Instead of a Muslim invasion, it starts with the poor from India. Instead of staggered migrant boats and rafts coming to Europe’s shores, it’s a fleet of 100 ships arriving at once. Today Eastern Europe has closed its borders to refugees; in the novel it’s Australia. Rather than a commie Pope Francis from Argentina, they have a commie pope from Brazil.

The Camp of the Saints predicts our current times, when no one can be proud of their European heritage or try to save Western civilization without being called a racist or fined for hate speech. 

The novel highlights the role of the elite liberal media and how they use white guilt to make Europeans go against their conscience. Anyone who speaks against the migrants is called racist, and even the government leaders won’t protect their nation’s borders:

Let’s just talk about the media, so called, and the shameless way certain people, under the guise of freedom, took a tool meant for mass communication, twisted and warped it, and used it to bully the minds of the public.

The Consul General of Belgium tries to fight for Europe. “Your damned, obnoxious, detestable pity!” he yells at his fellow leaders. “Call it what you please: world brotherhood, charity, conscience . . . Can’t you see where it’s leading? . . . You’ve got to be out of your minds just to sit back and let it all happen, little by little. All because of your pity. Your insipid, insufferable pity!”

The message of the book is clear: Christian morality will be the downfall of the West, so long as it continues to be interpreted as a religion of meekness, whose adherents must roll over and give their countries away to people who want to rob, rape, and kill them. This is in contrast to most of its history, when Christians wanted to defend the kingdom of Christendom to preserve their values and religion for future generations. 

In The Camp of the Saints, a fleet of 100 boats carrying 800,000 migrants leaves India’s shores with no clear destination. They’re rumored to be headed toward France (the author, Jean Raspail, is French) but the country has some time to decide what to do. As requests pour in to take the migrants, the pleas “[seem] more like threats.” 

Journalists take the side of the migrants, claiming they’ll “enrich, cleanse and redeem the Capitalist West.” Photos that would sway public opinion negatively toward the refugees are kept out of the press. Every horrid thing the refugee fleet does is twisted into something noble in the mainstream media, and just like today, it’s always the fault of the Europeans.

Editorial cartoons depict the white president of South Africa torturing a poor Hindu, an attempt to guilt the country to take the migrants. Protests erupt at South African embassies throughout Europe. South Africa threatens to fire on the boats if they come to their shores, and the country is spared. (The novel was published 20 years before the end of apartheid, and assumes whites still maintain power there.) 

In the schools, liberal teachers make students pen essays about sad and suffering refugees who need help. Parents keep their mouths shut, not wanting to burden their little children with the truth about the crisis. Meanwhile, no matter what subject is taught—math, literature, science—the teachers fill students’ heads with ideas about the racist West.  

When Australia refuses the migrant fleet, young people in European cities take to the Australian embassies to protest their migrant ban, chanting “Racists, Fascists!” The only difference with today’s protests is that in the novel, the protestors are actually peaceful. 

When someone does take a stand against the insanity, it’s done in a mealy-mouthed way that will inspire no one to action: “perhaps it wouldn’t be terribly wise, just now.”

As the migrants’ arrival on France’s southern shores becomes imminent, residents flee to the north. An old literature professor, Calgues, remains on the shores of the Mediterranean in his ancestral home from 1673. A hippie shows up and delights in telling Calgues how he’ll bring the migrants to use his antique furniture for firewood, to “crap all over your terrace, and wipe their hands on your shelves full of books.” Why will they do this? Because the world of Calgues, the world of Western civilization, with thousands of years of literature, mathematics, philosophy, music, art, and culture, means nothing to them. The Left-wing hippie hates being white and despises “squares” like his middle-class parents and sisters, who fled north for fear of being raped. Though the phrase “white privilege” isn’t used, he’s anxious for his white family to be impoverished, just like the brown people of the earth.

After the migrants arrive, they spread throughout France. Existing immigrants join up with them, along with Left-wing anarchists.

Residents in one small town have to stop using their community swimming pool; the migrants are spreading gonorrhea to the town’s children in the water. Medical records of all the citizens are checked, so as to not be racist to the Arabs, and in the end it’s confirmed that the newcomers are spreading it. The townspeople want to require medical certificates before entering the pool to protect the children. How does the news react? With headlines proclaiming “Anti-Arab Racism Alive and Well!” Caving to social pressure, the town abandons the required medical screenings. The European natives abandon the pool they scrimped and saved to pay for, and Arabs get the run of it. 

Meanwhile, the wife of a prominent pro-refugee journalist is gang-raped, then commits suicide. White women are kidnapped and raped in brothels. The situations predicted by Raspail more than 40 years ago are being played out in Europe today, as seen in the Rotherham child rape gang cover-up and countless other crimes. Just like today, laws are passed against what’s now called “hate speech.” And also like today, everything is the fault of whites:  

Now, it’s a known fact that racism comes in two forms: that practiced by whites—heinous and inexcusable, whatever its motives—and that practiced by blacks—quite justified, whatever its excesses, since it’s merely the expression of a righteous revenge, and it’s up to the whites to be patient and understanding.

Meanwhile in New York City, the migrants have arrived. The city is taken over by the sounds of an “infernal symphony” of glass shattering, gunshots, and screaming. Woe to the car that stops at a light; soon it will “find itself buried in a sea of black silhouettes, brandishing picks; and then the shouts of no! no! no!, those desperate shouts shrieked into the darkness and suddenly stilled, snuffed out by a knife, a razor, a chain, by a club full of spikes, by a pounding fist, or fingers, or phallus …” There’s a new wave of white flight out to American suburbs as people try to flee the crime and poorly performing schools. 

It’s easy to see why The Camp of the Saints is recommended by so many on the Right. Besides its colorful prose, Raspail’s prescience is astounding when it comes to the effects of third-world immigration on the West.

Since The Camp of the Saints is from the 1970s, it’s refreshing to read something completely non-PC. And despite the depressing subject matter, made doubly so due to us living a Camp of the Saints scenario today, his memorable characters create some laugh-out-loud moments.