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Éric Zemmour on the Cowardice of French Elites
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Credit Image: © Alexis Sciard/IP3 via ZUMA Press. Éric Zemmour, La France n’a pas dit son dernier mot, Rubempré, 2021, 352 pp. (in French only)
Credit Image: © Alexis Sciard/IP3 via ZUMA Press. Éric Zemmour, La France n’a pas dit son dernier mot, Rubempré, 2021, 352 pp. (in French only)

French-Jewish pundit and presidential candidate Éric Zemmour’s latest book, France Has Not Said Her Last Word, is part political diary, part campaign manifesto, and part sociology of the French elite. The book sheds light on Mr. Zemmour’s personality and his brand of French nationalism, but the most illuminating insights are about the social reality of top French political and media figures. We get a powerful sense of why French leaders, especially on the center-right, accept the dissolution of their nation.

When it was published in mid-September 2021, this book became the launch pad for Mr. Zemmour’s presidential crypto-campaign (he officially announced his candidacy by video [English subtitles] only at the end of November). YouTube has “age-restricted” the video, so unlike most YouTube videos, it cannot be embedded:

The case for Mr. Zemmour’s candidacy boils down to two issues:

  1. Opposition to The Great Replacement.
  2. Opposition to the media-political elite that permits The Great Replacement.

One could claim that Mr. Zemmour’s successful career as a pundit shows that nationalist voices are not shut down in France, but this discounts how rare it is for right-wing/nationalist journalists to survive professionally and the many obstacles Mr. Zemmour has had to overcome. This book describes the tremendous social, economic, and media pressure nationalists face in France: media demonization, boycott campaigns by advertisers and entertainers, editorial colleagues who try to get one fired, ethnic activist and “anti-racist” NGOs that bring suits for “hate speech,” and the simple desire not to be shunned by one’s social circle.

Mr. Zemmour provides many examples, both in his own life — he has been fired by all media he has worked for, with the exception of Le Figaro newspaper and the TV station CNews — and among French conservatives. His personal success owes much to his ability to appeal to deep, untapped yearnings among the French.

The story of the book itself is interesting. Mr. Zemmour’s usual editor Albin Michel refused to publish it, even though many of his previous books were bestsellers. The editor explained that Mr. Zemmour “is engaged in a personal ideological battle which simply does not correspond with the editorial line of a generalist publishing house like Albin Michel.” Mr. Zemmour had to self-publish via Rubempré, his own imprint, named for one of Balzac’s characters. Unlike most self-published titles, the book is available in bookstores.

A supporter of Eric Zemmour waits for a signature after a meeting at the Zenith venue in Rouen, north western France, on October 22, 2021. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)
A supporter of Eric Zemmour waits for a signature after a meeting at the Zenith venue in Rouen, north western France, on October 22, 2021. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)

The cover illustration almost conveys the idea that Mr. Zemmour is a “French patriot, already president.” Even so, in just a few weeks, the book had reportedly sold 165,000 copies. Albin Michel lost out, but Mr. Zemmour is doing very well, however a disadvantage of self-publishing is embarrassing typos.

Why run?

The book’s introduction makes the most explicit arguments for Mr. Zemmour’s decision to run: “Not a day goes by without a provocation, without a deconstruction, without a mockery, without a destruction.” (p. 8) There follows a long list: attacks on the police, the spread of wokisme in academia (new PhD theses on “gender theory in 17th century Limousin”), cancellation of classic films and culture, removal of statues of Napoleon and other heroes, violent Muslim gangs (North-African, Chechen, Kosovar), no-go areas, and grisly terrorism. The most fundamental issue, however, is immigration. Mr. Zemmour says of The Great Replacement:

This vital identitarian question renders all other questions subsidiary, even the most essential such as education, industry, social protection, or the place of France in the world. I am sure that no candidate — not even Marine Le Pen — will dare to evoke this identitarian and civilizational quarrel in the campaign. (p. 24)

While Marine Le Pen is a staunch opponent of non-European immigration, she accepts the line on The Great Replacement. In 2014, she agreed that it is a “conspiracy theory,” and in 2019 she claimed she “didn’t know about” the concept. The Great Replacement is a standard idea in nationalist circles and Miss Le Pen has shared the stage with Renaud Camus, who coined the term.

Sept. 24, 2015 – Renaud Camus at a demonstration in front of the German Embassy in Paris to protest the migratory hordes sweeping over Europe. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)
Sept. 24, 2015 – Renaud Camus at a demonstration in front of the German Embassy in Paris to protest the migratory hordes sweeping over Europe. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)

Mr. Zemmour thought that his success as a journalist would change French politics. His 2014 Le Suicide français — a chilling description of French decay since the 1960s — had sold over 200,000 copies but seemed to have little political effect. To Mr. Zemmour’s surprise, no conventional politician adopted his ideas. He amusingly calls his naïveté “Gramscism for dummies.” Many people — his son, opponents to gay marriage, French Trump supporters — urged him to run for office. He hesitated, fearing that politics would ruin his career but, at age 63, it is now or never.

The book’s introduction recounts Mr. Zemmour’s meetings with the two other then-plausible anti-immigration candidates: conservative party leader Xavier Bertrand (who since has failed to win his party’s nomination for the presidency, losing to the moderate “conservative” Valérie Pécresse) and Marine Le Pen. Mr. Bertrand listened attentively to Mr. Zemmour’s proposed policies on immigration, and did nothing.

To Miss Le Pen, Mr. Zemmour argued that “the System” — a dissident term he uses several times — wanted her to reach the second round in the presidential election in order for her to lose again to Emmanuel Macron. She seemed almost self-pitying: “Look at me. I am alone, I no longer have a personal life.” (p. 23)

Press conference by Marine Le Pen, national rally candidate for the 2022 presidential election in Paris, on January 18, 2022. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)
Press conference by Marine Le Pen, national rally candidate for the 2022 presidential election in Paris, on January 18, 2022. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)

Sarkozy’s Failure

Readers have complained that Mr. Zemmour’s book is in large part a diary of his many dinners with various media-political personalities. There is a common pattern:

  • Mr. Zemmour meets so-and-so.
  • He and so-and-so don’t agree, get into an argument, but remain cordial.
  • Before leaving, so-and-so privately concedes that Mr. Zemmour is right about France’s racial-religious problem or otherwise reveals his hypocrisy.

Mr. Zemmour also writes of a meeting with left-wing university professor Pascal Blanchard, who has profited as a communications consultant developing “de-colonial” and “anti-racist” advertising for large corporations. After losing a debate with Mr. Zemmour, Mr. Blanchard reportedly said, “You can say what you like. We don’t give a damn. We’ll win. We control the school programs.” (p. 120)

Whatever the limits of his anecdotal approach, Mr. Zemmour’s strength is as a journalist and pundit, and a general picture emerges: a real sense of the social world in which right-wing politicians and journalists operate, and how this limits them, especially on immigration. As individuals and as members of families or wider social circles, they fear stigma.

The most compelling example is that of Nicolas Sarkozy (president of France, 2007–2012). Mr. Zemmour faults Mr. Sarkozy for not campaigning on immigration. He could have promised a referendum on the issue, as his advisor Patrick Buisson suggested. Polls indicated, as they do today, that this was a winning issue. Mr. Zemmour believes that a major part of Sarkozy’s weakness on immigration was the influence of his wife Carla Bruni, a left-wing Italian singer. Mr. Sarkozy married her after his first wife Cécilia left him during the 2007 presidential campaign. Another important factor was Mr. Sarkozy’s relationships with rich Arabs. Mr. Zemmour writes:

[In not campaigning on immigration,] Sarkozy thinks no doubt of Carla, and of her bien-pensants [well-thinking] friends; of his trips to Morocco, in the lavish setting of La Mamounia, as a guest of the king; of his well-remunerated lectures which his friend, the prince of Qatar, has promised him. . . . Sarkozy already sees the newspaper headlines calling him a racist, a xenophobe, or, worse, a politician prepared to do anything to stay in power . . . . Sarkozy was not able to give up what he was, the image that he had of himself, in the eyes of his social circles, of those close to him, and of the media, to do what his interest and the national interest called for. (p. 157)

Mr. Zemmour believes the fear of stigma, financial loss, and hostile media coverage kept Mr. Sarkozy from doing what was both in his political interest and the national interest.

Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. (Credit Image: Guillaume Paumier via Wikimedia)
Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007. (Credit Image: Guillaume Paumier via Wikimedia)

It is impossible to listen to Mr. Zemmour’s speeches without learning something about history, and he peppers his talks with quotations from great Frenchmen. He is a romantic who reads widely and takes the inspiring stories of history and politics at face value. This makes his encounters with real politicians, bureaucrats, and “influencers” in their day-to-day shabbiness all the more shocking to him.

Mr. Zemmour once dined with Daniel Keller, the head of the Grand Orient Masonic lodge, an organization of legendary influence, and was flabbergasted by the man’s politically correct platitudes:

Our host’s conversation was as mediocre and insipid as the food we were served. . . . I thought I would be locking steel with Jules Ferry [an important 19th century politician] but I was sparring rubber with Daniel Keller. Once again, my historical imagination had played a trick on me. (pp. 181–82)

Mediocrity of this kind is no doubt the norm in the West.

Western decline . . . and renewal?

Mr. Zemmour thinks France and the West are reaching the end of a long cycle, as individualism approaches a climax of selfishness. He rejects those who think “politics” means ever-greater emancipation from social constraints:

I have always thought on the contrary that politics means trying to preserve what our ancestors have built: this masterpiece called France, to pass it on to those who will follow us on this earth. (p. 183)

Mr. Zemmour argues that just as the printing press broke the spiritual monopoly of the Catholic Church and led to the Protestant Reformation, the internet has broken the monopoly of the media and heralds a new age of populist politics whose ultimate results remain uncertain.

Mr. Zemmour’s vision is a return to the French tradition of statecraft, respect for the nation-state, charismatic and plebiscitary executive power, and a cross-fertilization between literature and politics. This would be a synthesis of French monarchic, Napoleonic, and Republican traditions.

Éric Zemmour speaks to his supporters on October 22, 2021. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)
Éric Zemmour speaks to his supporters on October 22, 2021. (Credit Image: © Maxppp via ZUMA Press)

Some may say that Mr. Zemmour’s outlook overlooks the vitality and diversity of France’s regions and neglects the pan-European heritage of our civilization. Nevertheless, I agree with de Gaulle, that Europe has shined brightest when each nation expressed its unique vitality to the fullest.

But what about Mr. Zemmour’s ability to get things done? He believes in firm control of the state and being able to move a nation with appeals to its most powerful myths, often unconscious. In practice, Mr. Zemmour hopes, through a presidency empowered by direct appeals to the people, to battle the special interests that are paralyzing and in some cases destroying France.

What are Mr. Zemmour’s prospects? There is an advantage in our rulers’ mediocrity: They are unprepared for anything that contradicts their shallow and intolerant ideology. Even an articulate bookworm may therefore become king.

(Republished from American Renaissance by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Another good article on Eric Zemmour by Guillaume Durocher. I have seen criticisms of Eric Zemmour on the comment threads of other articles, so I’ll address those.

    1. Yes, Eric Zemmour is of Jewish Berber ancestry, but his love for France and French culture seem quite authentic to me. It would have been easy for him, as articulate as he is, to have written woke pablum and be well rewarded for it. The criticism he receives and the persecution he suffers for what he does is proof to me that he is sincere.

    2. Eric Zemmour is not dividing the right and stealing the presidency from Marine Le Pen. Marine Le Pen’s chances of becoming French president are exactly zero; she is a spent force. She tried to move the National Rally Party to the center (kicking her own father and party founder Jean Marie Le Pen, out of the party) and that opened the way for the Zemmour candidacy. As Guillaume Durocher mentions, Emmanuel Macron was fervently hoping for a repeat of the 2017 election, with him squaring off against Marine Le Pen in the second round and winning about 60-40. I have tremendous respect for Marine Le Pen–she has suffered for her own position opposing immigration, but her time has come and gone. Her niece, Marion Maréchal, has announced that she (Marion) will not support Marine this year. The National Rally Party does have a rising star, Jordan Bardella, and perhaps he can someday join forces with Eric Zemmour.

    Can Zemmour win? As I said in a previous comment, he may have difficulty getting on the ballot due to the system of “parrainage” used in France–500 mayors or other officials must give their endorsement, although the endorsement is only for a prescence on the ballot, not support for the office. There is considerable pressure on these officials not to give such an endorsement. Assuming he makes it on the ballot, he would split the “conservative” vote with Marine Le Pen and Valery Pécresse, the candidate of the Republican Party. He would have to be the top vote getter among those three to make it to the second round to face President Emmanuel Macron.

    In theory, Zemmour would fare little better than Marine Le Pen in such a match-up, but the elites are well aware of what happened in 2016, with the Brexit referendum and the Trump election. Macron would be genuinely nervous in such a confrontation and his luster as a competent technocrat is fading. Inflation is growing in France–gasoline that cost 1.42€ a liter in March of 2020 is starting to push 2.00€ a liter. Despite a highly coercive vaccination program, the number of Covid cases continues to be among the highest in Europe and many French people are starting to balk at the third and fourth inoculations. The level of violence in many cities is rising; there are zones in which even the police go only in large numbers. Zemmour just might pull it off.

    How would Zemmour govern, given almost universal elite hostility? I think he’s much smarter than Donald Trump; he knows that there is nothing he can do to please the elites and must be prepared to govern by decree. A big problem will be staffing–to whom can he turn to help implement his policies. Trump said that he would drain the swamp but then staffed his administration with swamp creatures. Zemmour is smarter than that, but the underlying problem remains–where to find the administrative talent to make changes against the wishes of almost the entire French and European elites and their minions in the bureaucracy.

    With all its problems, Zemmour’s candidacy is a breath of fresh air and offers some hope for France.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  2. @Diversity Heretic

    Yes, Eric Zemmour is of Jewish Berber ancestry,

    Is Zemmour even Jewish racially? I recall an AmRen article which stated that ‘Zemmour’s ancestors converted to Judaism’.

    • Agree: Red Pill Angel
  3. French-Jewish pundit and presidential candidate Éric Zemmour’s latest book, France Has Not Said Her Last Word, is part political diary, part campaign manifesto, and part sociology of the French elite. The book sheds light on Mr. Zemmour’s personality and his brand of French nationalism, but the most illuminating insights are about the social reality of top French political and media figures.

    Why does the French right accept Zemmour as part of them when he is part of the post independence Algerian migration like 4 million others??? Oh ok maybe he gets a Free Pass because he is not a Muslim! Oh yes, he is Jewish, so he should be accepted and even accepted as French leader, something not open to Muslims and other Africans no matter how much they desire to be Francophiles.

    They say Zemmour is of Berber extraction and not Arab?? Oh really, virtually all North African (Sephardic) Jews originate from Carthagian and other Phoenician settlers who converted to Judaism after the Roman annihilation of Carthage and other Punic cities in the Western Mediterranean.

    Yes, he is French but Algerian Muslims who came at the same time and are well assimilated are to be denigrated and rejected.

    As stated in my previous comment on Durocher’s previous article on Zemmour, the French right is really lost and demonstrating their subservience to their Zio-Banking rulers, but with the twist of the Donnie Trump moving to French politics, ala-Zemmour ( horn blowing in Arabic).

    LoL France.

    • Agree: Pop Warner
  4. neutral says:

    The French “elite” are not very different to the “elite” of any of the other ZOG states, they are all rubber stampers to the real elite, basically the jews. They can only get to their lucrative puppet positions if they are cowards (and corrupt, dishonest, scumbags, etc).

    Obviously Zemmour is not going to name the jew. And even if we was sincere in his political stance, he is still a jew and can absolutely never be tolerated by anyone who is pro white.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  5. Athena says:

    Mr. Zemmour believes that a major part of Sarkozy’s weakness on immigration was the influence of his wife Carla Bruni, a left-wing Italian singer.

    Mrs Bruni was bienvenue at the Canadian Britcasting Corporation (CBC, state-owned media in service to the Pentagon) while they supported the jihad armed by NATO in Libya (calling them ”rebels”) using the taxpayer money.

    The CBC are not ”leftist” at all. They support the US-UK NATO bombings. They always refused to tell the truth about what Canada did in Libya. Instead, the CBC prefer to call African refugees: ”migrants’. NO. Libyans have been bombed and expelled from their country by the NATO SS.

  6. @neutral

    Obviously Zemmour is not going to name the jew. And even if we was sincere in his political stance, he is still a jew and can absolutely never be tolerated by anyone who is pro white.

    And yet, pro-whites have to start somewhere if they ever hope to effect change. Zemmour, whatever his shortcomings, at least provides that “somewhere.”

    The alternative is to imagine that although things are too difficult for a genuine pro-white leader today, somehow things will magically become easier in the future, so there’s no need to get involved in electoral politics.

    • Agree: Rosie, Reactive Reaction
    • Replies: @neutral
  7. Anon[618] • Disclaimer says:

    One can be certain that Zemmour is anti-Christian.

  8. anonymous[116] • Disclaimer says:

    The whole French Presidential election dynamic has just changed. Christiane Taubira, born in French Guiana, and turning 70 this week, has just won the French leftist Presidential primary.

    One cannot underestimate this … Global leftist forces may well unite, to help this woman of colour to become the first Madame Président of France.

    Her primary win guarantees she will have the 500 endorsements from local elected officials, required to be on the French presidential ballot in April.

    She is hugely experienced and as well qualified as any candidate.

    Macron and Pécresse may both be pushed aside; it may be Taubira and Zemmour now in the May run-off election.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
  9. Zemmour is an excellent speaker, very stirring, but what is wrong with Marine le Pen?

  10. neutral says:
    @silviosilver

    There is also Le Pen, she is also an Israel worshipper, but at least she is white. If you are supporting non whites to save white people then you have already lost.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  11. @neutral

    Marine provides a “start somewhere” as well. I’m not denouncing her.

    My point was to get started, not to get finished. Once things get started – and in the eyes of lefties weeping about “our democracy,” things already have – there’s no telling where they may end.

    It’s like blacks and the 14th amendment. Who would have thought blacks would some day be worshiped the way they are today?

    Who cares if Zemmour’s a yid? He’s saying many of the things that need to be said, and saying them very well. But he can’t control where it all might go, no matter how much he might want to.

  12. @anonymous

    She lacks what any woman must possess if she wants to rule France: looks.

  13. Anti-Judaists are so retarded that they are beyond remedy.

    You just cannot argue with these people, it’s futile.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
  14. I doubt they can help it. That was the situation they found themselves in after 2 world wars.

    neutered.

    And the same can be said about all European leaders imo. Doubly so for British ones.

  15. anon[155] • Disclaimer says:

    If the West is heading down the abyss, the French are the ones who led us there. For decades the Left in this country worship French culture. They love the French lifestyle of loose relationships where married men openly keep mistresses, the legalized prostitution, nude/topless sunbathing in public, lewd art/cinema that promotes nudity and sex, 35 hr work week, welfare loving culture, frequent protests and strikes, long lunches even on workdays, an overbearing bureaucracy that controls every aspect of life, overwhelming love for haute cuisine, fine wine, haute couture and all manners of luxury. The French are the laziest and most decadent people on earth, the modern day Sybarites, and shamelessly take pride in their decadence. And now they’ve infected the rest of the West with their degeneracy.

    Even two decades ago The Economist already referred to them as the “halal food eating surrender monkeys”. French history is rife with corruption, decadence, inept governments and equally pathetic, inept insurgents. Why should such a culture be preserved? Perhaps it only serves them right that they are now being subsumed by an even more degenerate culture that worships a 9 year old raping pedophile.

  16. Readers have complained that Mr. Zemmour’s book is in large part a diary of his many dinners with various media-political personalities. There is a common pattern:

    Mr. Zemmour meets so-and-so.
    He and so-and-so don’t agree, get into an argument, but remain cordial.
    Before leaving, so-and-so privately concedes that Mr. Zemmour is right about France’s racial-religious problem or otherwise reveals his hypocrisy.

    And this is bad because? What’s to complain about? Not getting it; someone please explain.

  17. @Bardon Kaldian

    Seriously. They ruin every sensible attempt at a counter-revolution!!

    I mean: I hate the ADL as much as anyone, but this obsessive Jew-hatred is a disgrace.

    She lacks what any woman must possess if she wants to rule France: looks.

    Seriously. If only Sarah Palin were a bit more intelligent.

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