In France, attacking the ideals of the ruling elite and lamenting over the republic’s purpose and importance has long been an acceptable pastime. Yet the country’s newest dissenter, author and political journalist Éric Zemmour, has taken the habit to an entirely new level.
Zemmour, a self-described Gaullist and Bonapartist who works for the daily newspaper Le Figaro, favours the death penalty, accuses modern feminists of wanting to “castrate” men, and has suggested that the majority of French drug dealers were of Arab and African descent. “It’s a fact,” he told a television interviewer, without providing details to back up his assertion.
Now, in his latest book, entitled Mélancolie Française, Zemmour predicts France is doomed to fall into a civil war with Christians fighting Muslim “barbarians.” He goes on to suggest that the European Union was originally a French idea for controlling the continent, sabotaged by Britain’s entry in 1973, and that historically France was destined for greatness until everything went belly up after King Louis XIV lost to England.
To get everyone’s blood boiling even more, Zemmour argues that France’s fate was sealed when it abandoned the practice of assimilating immigrants and embraced the idea of ethnic diversity. “French culture is not Muhammad,” he says. “It is François, it is Christian.”
Zemmour’s been called a fascist on live television and attacked by the left-of-centre establishment for inciting hate, yet his books fly off the shelves, and millions tune in to radio and television to hear what he’ll say next about the country’s decline. But why exactly does Zemmour think he is so popular? “I say what people think,” he noted in a recent interview. “The elites impose a political correctness that the people cannot stand.”