Le Monde has released an article reporting on the publishing of books by French politicians, a veritable cottage industry. The report confirms a few things which any observer of the genre will long have noticed, e.g.:
- That French politicians write books to give off airs of literary gravitas.
- “‘The exercise is getting banalized and is leading to a profusion of writings of variable quality,’ stressed [pollster] Brice Teinturier […]. [N]ew criticisms are addressed to politicians who are in office: they are criticized for writing instead of working.”
- “Sophie Charnavel, head of the publisher Robert Laffont, considers that certain books are only there to occupy space and ‘are standardized’ so that their author is invited to the morning radio shows. A marketing exercise.”
- That, as a rule, no one is reading the bulk of these publications.
E.g., European Commissioner for the Economy Pierre Moscovici’s memoirs have exactly zero reviews on Amazon.fr. Moscovici is well-known for his striking resemblance to pornographic actor-director Pierre Woodman.
The ultra-Zionist Socialist former prime minister Manuel Valls – who, being married to a Jewess, once declared that he was “eternally linked to the Jewish community and to Israel” – pointedly entitled his book Not a Drop of French Blood (his parents are Spanish and Swiss; and he is currently serving as a municipal councillor in Barcelona).
Admittedly, a few heavyweights are able to sell: Nicolas Sarkozy’s latest memoir The Time of Storms (volume I) has sold 238,000 copies and François Hollande’s The Lessons of Power has sold 200,000 copies (miraculous given how inert Hollande was as president). A few big names of the far left and far right like Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Philippe de Villiers can also break into six-digit sales.
I was most struck however by a throw-away paragraph at the end of the article:
There remains however one unknown person before the 2022 presidential elections. The question is now sharply posed: till when will last the big publishers’ consensus to never publish a book signed by Marine Le Pen? For now, the cordon sanitaire [quarantining of the far-right] remains the rule for the 10 biggest publishers. “[Publishing her] would mean participating in her detoxification, which I do not want to do. My hat as a citizen takes precedence over my hat as a publisher,” said Olivier Nora [the CEO of the publisher Grasset]. Here too, economic and political motives are intertwined: “Morally, I am not ready to do this,” concluded Muriel Beyer [deputy head of Humensis, a major political publisher]. “And, professionally, my authors would not want to be part of the same publishing house as her.”
Thus we have a tacit agreement among the major publishers to exclude a candidate who appeals to a solid third of French voters and who has made every effort to assert her “republican” and “democratic” credentials; fully abandoning her father’s rebellious streak on race, World War II and the holocaust, Charles de Gaulle and the Algerian War, etc. Today, you’ll occasionally hear praise of Marshal Philippe Pétain from our globalist President Emmanuel Macron, never from putative far-rightist Marine Le Pen.
The article also makes clear that the big publishers range politically from centrist to far-left in political orientation and that the few who publish right-leaning books are subject to moral opprobrium.
The public censure and politically-motivated discrimination faced by Le Pen supporters likely also accounts for the fact that her party often runs the same candidates for both county and regional elections (60% of candidates running in the regionals are also running in the counties). Few people are willing, or can afford, to take the professional and social hit of public association with one of France’s most popular political parties.
A fine democracy we live in! A few will come to the conclusion that there is a slight contradiction between liberal-democrats’ idealistic pretensions and real human psycho-social power dynamics. It’s a shame Our Moral Betters are not more honest with themselves about the nature of their vaunted political pluralism and their instinctive demand of hegemony.