His statement is indefensible but he is not a Holocaust denier
The fatal analogies of Renaud Camus
After the introduction of family reunification in 1976, immigration changed in nature and France changed its face. Settlement immigration succeeded labor immigration and, as Élisabeth Badinter wrote on the strength of the edifying and terrifying testimonies collected by Georges Bensoussan in A submissive France : “A second society is trying to impose itself insidiously within our Republic, turning its back on it, explicitly aiming for separatism, even secession. » Renaud Camus makes the same observation. It is heartbreaking for him to know that so many French people live in Saint-Denis, Sevran, La Courneuve, Lunel and Tourcoing and even in certain districts of Paris, as if in a foreign land. But when it comes to naming things, he succumbs, like the ideologues he fights, to the demon of analogy. The anti-fascists invoke the dark years to better deny what is happening. He refers to it to make its enormity and horror felt. He protests against the Occupation, he castigates Collaboration, he calls for Resistance. This is where I radically separate myself from him. As I wrote in my argument with Élisabeth de Fontenay, if we want to avoid lapsing into the inhuman, we must beware like the plague of any comparison with the dark times of the XNUMXth century.e century and strive to think of the present in its own terms: accuracy, again and again.
This argument, I developed it in front of Renaud Camus himself in my program “Replicas”. He was opposed to Hervé Le Bras. To speak of the Occupation, I told him in substance, is to consider any Arab and any African you meet in the street as an invader: "You say that hatred is a feeling that is foreign to you, but your analogy belies this beautiful proclamation because, as Albert Camus wrote in a speech delivered during a meeting organized by the Amitié française, Salle de la Mutualité , March 15, 1945, “For four years, every morning, every Frenchman received his ration of hatred and his bellows. It was the moment when he opened the newspaper.” The word Occupation conjures up the image of Nazism, and what could be more legitimate, more necessary, more salutary, even, than hating the Nazis? » Renaud Camus remained deaf to this objection.
He has even, since then, increased his analogy by a fourth term. After the Occupation, the Collaboration, the Resistance, here is now the genocide. "The genocide of the Jews was undoubtedly more criminal, but all the same seems a little small compared to global replacementism", he tweeted. With this word, the link that Renaud Camus' thought still maintains with reality is broken. Genocide is the physical destruction of a people. The Hitlerian genocide is the industrial killing of Jews and Gypsies. Nothing like this threatens Europe these days. The very people who, like Youssef al-Qaradawi, explicitly want to Islamize Europe, do not want the extermination of the infidels, but their conversion, or, to use Houellebecq's word, their “submission”. As to "global replacement", which Renaud Camus sees at work and which consists in particular in wanting to compensate by immigration for the decline in fertility in the countries of Europe, it proceeds from the universalization of the idea of the similar. It is because no difference is definitive, insurmountable, absolute, that anyone everywhere can do the job. With the transformation of humanity into “undifferentiated human matter”, we can say that democracy, or, more exactly, the democratic vision of the world, has given birth to a monster, but this monster is not genocidal. Because what makes genocide thinkable, and therefore possible, is the contestation of the unity of the human species, it is the fact of seeing in the other man someone other than man. For Hitler, the great heresy is to believe, precisely, that individuals are interchangeable. Between the Jews and the Aryans, there is no common measure, and for the Aryans to be able to deploy their being, the Jews must disappear from the surface of the Earth.
If replacing, as Renaud Camus thinks, is the central gesture of postmodern societies, then this means that they are also, and definitely, post-Hitlerian. I suffer from having to recall such evidence, but I suffer even more from seeing Renaud Camus go astray in this way. And his non-readers, who reproach me so vehemently for my links with him, would be wrong to rub their hands, because this bewilderment does not prove them right. For them, everything is simple, everything is clear: this guy is a bastard and you don't need to know his work to know that each page bears witness to his ignominy. Well no, they are mistaken in tackling what is a real tragedy into the comfortable categories of melodrama. The ignoramuses who overwhelm him bury alive a very great writer and such is the tragedy: this one brings them his help; with his analogies and his shortcuts, he digs his own grave, he is his own gravedigger. He seeks, with strong words, to wake up his dazed compatriots, he wants to provoke a start. Result: it causes nausea even in the most clairvoyant. He founded two parties, the party of Innocence and the party of NO, to bring together all those who do not want to see France become something other than itself, and he has never been so isolated. The more he calls for union, the more he creates a vacuum around him. He does not shout in the desert, he creates the desert by his cries.
And I, although I know that Meaning, In Praise of Appearance, Life of the Horla Dog, Decivilization, The Inheritors are major works, however much I read with pleasure, with interest, with admiration, each volume of the Journal, I am now inaudible when I say it: Renaud Camus has surrounded his great books with a wall of crazy tweets, that more no one, soon, will want to cross. His anguish is legitimate, his thought profound. So why does he put such relentlessness into making this anguish and this thought odious? Why, as soon as we begin to listen to him, does he manage so that we can no longer do so? What demon leads him to push the cork too far? It would take a novelist to solve this enigma.
Me, I can only say my infinite sadness to see the author of the Mansions of the Spirit cut himself off from everyone who could and should have read it by writing that “The genocide of the Jews is a bit of a small arm compared to global replacementism”. I would have liked him to pay attention to my arguments. I would have liked to be listened to or heard from him. But if, as I wrote to Élisabeth de Fontenay, he inhabits my heart of hearts because this is a noisy and very agitated forum, it is clear that I do not inhabit his. But moreover, is his innermost being a forum? I'm not sure of it. I see it rather as a dungeon where his sometimes brilliant, sometimes delirious thought, endless soliloquy.
And now legal proceedings have been initiated against Renaud Camus for advocating or contesting crimes against humanity by SOS Racisme, the Union of Jewish Students of France and the Interministerial Delegation for the Fight against Racism, Anti-Semitism and Hatred anti-LGBT… All the justintrudesque stupidity of our time is contained in this last name.
The words of Renaud Camus are indefensible, the words of "little arm" is absurd and atrocious, but we can in no way accuse Renaud Camus of Holocaust denial or apology for crimes against humanity since it says very explicitly that the genocide of the Jews was "more criminal" what is happening today. In short, this matter does not fall within the jurisdiction of the courts. Anti-racist associations have long since replaced reflection with judicial reflex. Impatient to punish, they no longer know how to criticize. This task therefore falls to me, and to me almost alone, because unlike the "assos", I am not itchy with the desire for criminal proceedings and, because, unlike most of my peers, the “intellectuals”, I know who and what I am talking about.
Not having seen Philip Roth since the celebration of his eightieth birthday four years ago, I was beginning to find the time long. So I took my courage in both hands : I phoned him, he was available, I jumped on a plane, and he appeared to me both serene – because after thirty-one books and a few masterpieces, he has the feeling of accomplishment – and melancholy, because if the work of the work is an exhausting fight, idleness is not very easy to live with, nor, no doubt, the feeling that your time is running out. But perhaps these impressions are projections. I was careful not to extort confidences from Philip Roth, we talked about this and that, and, above all, about the “tsunami”, as said New York Times, triggered by the Weinstein affair.
We mentioned in particular the case of Dustin Hoffman who was allegedly guilty of "inappropriate behavior" almost half a century ago, who did not even remember it, but who apologized, and that of Leon Wieseltier, a famous journalist and essayist, whom women working with him accuse not of" assault ", but D'"sexual obsession". In particular, he would have forced one of them to look with him at the photograph of the sculpture of a naked woman and he would have asked her if she had ever seen such an erotic image. Leon Wieseltier was preparing to launch a very ambitious intellectual journal, IDEA, but faced with this avalanche of "#metoo" revelations, the widow of Steve Jobs, who was financing the project, stopped everything. And the author of kaddish joined in hell Harvey Weinstein, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, the comedian Louis CK, convinced of exhibitionism, and also Elie Wiesel, because the new inquisition does not even leave the dead in peace. Philip Roth was unaware of this latest scandal. I told him what I had just learned, he immediately turned on his tablet, he typed in the name of the great fallen deceased and he came across an article which he read to me and which we commented on together: “Woman claims Elie Wiesel sexually assaulted her” (“Woman claims Elie Wiesel sexually assaulted her”). “When I was 19, writes Jenny Listman, Elie Wiesel “grabbed my ass”. » ("Elie Wiesel put his hand on my ass.") And there, fasten your seatbelts, it's Night and Fog : “He took me for an underage ultra-Orthodox girl, so he chose to molest a defenseless person who was unlikely to complain. »
It was in 1987, during a charity gala, a photographer took a family snapshot. " The Holocaust survivor » first put his hand on Jenny Listman's shoulder, then he lowered that wandering hand to her back, and, just as the photographer “took the picture”, he reached for the buttock and pressed it – “he squeezed it! » His crime accomplished, he fled and disappeared. Jenny Listman then lists the “after effects” of this fatal gesture and the ethical questions it raised in her. She talks about her suicidal depression and panic attacks that lasted eighteen years. All his landmarks have collapsed. the “bad behaviour” of a man considered a secular saint caused him to lose faith in humanity…
Why is she talking today? 'Cause she couldn't take it anymore to protect the world from “something bad and ugly” (“something evil and ugly”). The burden of this secrecy was too heavy to bear, and she uses the very words of Elie Wiesel when he called the world to witness the horror he had survived: “Listen to us with all your energy! » So it's not her "pig" that Jenny Listman tosses out, after such a long and painful silence, it's her executioner. One evening in November 2017, in an apartment on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, Philip Roth and I took note, dumbfounded, of this momentous event: the shoaiization from hand to ass. Dumbfounded, but not completely taken aback. In 1981, I had just made the acquaintance of Philip Roth and I had conducted an interview with him in London for Le Nouvel Observateur. In particular, I had asked him what had been the reception in America of my life as a man, a novel that I loved. He replied that this book had earned him his reputation as a misogynist, and that it had sold very poorly, because, in 1974, the world had discovered that women are good and only good, persecuted and only persecuted, and had depicted a persecuting woman for him: that spoiled everything! In 2017, in the eyes of some elated feminists and the media that follow suit, women are more than ever victims, they are even on the verge of ascending the throne of the absolute victim.
To say of Elie Wiesel that he caused Evil to be suffered after having suffered it himself is to imply that there are two supreme, imprescriptible crimes: genocide and sexual harassment, this notion encompassing everything there is something a little shaggy, a little wild, a little rowdy in the relationship between men and women. Interviewed by the newspaper Le Monde on the occasion of the honorary Oscar awarded to her in Los Angeles, Agnès Varda had this word: “Humiliation is always on the side of women. » There would therefore not be, in sexual relations, men who were flouted, men humiliated, men driven madly and reduced to despair. There would be no domineering women, Machiavellian women, ferocious or even frenzied women. Medea, Lady Macbeth and the Blue Angel would be like Philip Roth's Maureen, pure misogynistic fantasies. Stupidity progresses by leaps and bounds and it will soon purge our literary and artistic heritage of all that challenges its great Manichaean supremacy.
Edwy Plenel is delighted to “the revolution triggered by the Weinstein affair”. Once again, the director of Mediapart goes astray. The feminist revolution has already happened. Women in the Western world are more free than they have ever been. Their body belongs to them, their life belongs to them, the street belongs to them and procreation without a man is about to become a woman's right. Of course, there remain the very real facts of violence and abuse of power. These acts deserve no indulgence and must be suppressed without weakness. It is also necessary to protect children and adolescents against pornography, this image of a sexuality freed from all the rituals of seduction and which is offered today on the Internet as an initiation to love life. The conquests of civilization are fragile. But the problem with the current campaign is that it denies the very existence of these conquests and that it intends to repair the immemorial wrongs done to women by a frenetic victim McCarthyism. Will we ever wake up from this trance?
Source: © Alain Finkielkraut: “I suffer from seeing Renaud Camus go astray in this way” – Talker