Left and Right

The Face of the New French Right

By Harrison Stelter, The Nation

The pundit Éric Zemmour is leading a confident and radicalized conservative movement.

What progressives fail to understand is that the future is not ruled by economic curves but by demographic curves,” Éric Zemmour postulated, visibly nervous before the audience of conservative activists assembled at the September 2019 Convention of the Right in Paris.

Massive ears folding out around the receding jaw, eyes fixed to the notes on the lectern, Zemmour droned on: “The demographic dynamism of our continent allowed whites to colonize the world. They exterminated the Indians and the Aborigines, enslaved the Africans. Today, we are experiencing a demographic reversal that will lead to a reversal of migratory currents, which will lead to a reversal of colonization. I’ll let you guess who will be their Indians and their slaves: It’s you!”

It was a speech worthy of an interwar eugenics conference. For Zemmour, this talk was something of a coming out. To be sure, France’s most notable far-right polemicist had long peddled the “great replacement” theory, the idea that Western societies are undergoing an engineered demographic shift in favor of migrants from the Global South. What Zemmour thought about Islam, immigration, multiculturalism, and the 1960s had also long since ceased to be a mystery. But this 30-minute lecture on the decadence and collapse of “progressive” civilization was his most concise call-to-arms yet.

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