Book review: The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail

CampOfSaintsby Timothy Lane   6/14/14
This controversial apocalyptic novel of the failure of Western culture to defend itself against the Third World (assailing it with poverty as its justification) has been relevant for decades, but never more so than today as we see the feckless (or worse) refusal to protect the southern border of the United States against invasion. Diana West even referred to the children’s barracks as “the camp of the saintlets”.

Basically, the story involves a large body of Indian peasants fleeing on a flotilla of ships around Africa to the shores of southern France. (How they were fed for such a long journey is an interesting question, making it perhaps a bit unrealistic. But that really isn’t the point.) It’s a motley, messy crew, which is why they go around the continent instead of passing through the Suez Canal, where people could see what’s approaching and – perhaps – summon up the courage to stop them. They’re also actively anti-Western; at one point they’re given food supplies dropped from planes – and openly toss them aside.

In the end, unopposed, they land on the southern coast of France and simply rush in to grab what they can, including land and homes as well as property. They have no legal right, obviously, and no moral right by most of the world’s moral codes (including their own) – but no one has the nerve to stop them. And, naturally, this has other consequences. The great cities of the West are full of Third World immigrants, unassimilated and therefore poor (and hostile to their hosts). When these people see that the West no longer has the will to def end its society from them, they rise up. Hardly any violence is needed; those who live in the cities are quite ready to surrender what they have.

Only a small remnant survives in Switzerland, where the tale’s narrator (like others who still revere the Western culture that most were ready to surrender rather than defend) has fled. (There may be a few other such enclaves; the story focuses mostly on Europe.) For how long? He has no way of knowing.

This grim little tale is of course “racist”, because the Third World sorts that the West is no longer capable of defending against are non-whites and the Westerners themselves are whites. It may even be that Raspail was in fact a racist; but it’s also true that culture matters. For a long time we have seen a steady failure of many in the West to prevent their cities from becoming (as one book title put it), Londonistans ruled by (mostly Muslim) immigrants whose culture is extremely different and hostile (and not assimilating at all – indeed, quite often it seems that they’re increasingly assimilating the natives in many communities). Fortunately, we haven’t been quite so unfortunate in America for the most part, partly because some assimilation has occurred. But the occasional honor killings by assimilated “moderate” Muslims reminds us how shallow that assimilation often really is even here.

More serious is the Latin American invasion. Because the Democrats want (eventual) voters and resent American traditions, Big Business wants cheap labor and doesn’t care about American traditions, and the GOP leadership wants Big Business donations and can’t bring itself to see a politically incorrect reality, there is no more will to resist this invasion than there was Raspail’s fictional Indian fleet. So today the children don’t try to avoid the Border Patrol – they seek them out, rightly believing that they will be kept here in circumstances we find very unpleasant (but often no worse than they would face back home) before finding some way to let these “dreamers” stay despite their illegality.

And if people suffer, and the cartels (for whom these children are merely the means of distracting the Border Patrol, thus enabling them to smuggle even more drugs and gangsters and other unpleasantries into the United States) benefit – well, what does that matter in D.C. or New York? As long as they get what they want, nothing else matters to them. And if it means the end of American traditions or Western culture, so what? Few of the beneficiaries of illegal immigration care about such costs. In Raspail’s apocalypse, the failure was mainly one of will. In our own, the failure is partly one of will (John Boehner would fit in perfectly in the original novel), but also partly a matter of the Enemy Within.

Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine.
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8 Responses to Book review: The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail

  1. Anniel says:

    I’m glad you’ve reviewed this Timothy. I’ve heard things about it, but it’s not available on Kindle and Bear is tired of tripping over books. You helped me decide to forget this one, but I did order Being Logical from your earlier review. That one sounds wonderfully relevant in my present mindset. Being a totally illogical female and all.

  2. Libertymark says:

    This book is a wonderful if not terrifying parable of things to come, as we are now observing in real time on our southern border. What if a million Third Worlders massed on our border, demanding refuge, food and shelter? Would we have the moral fortitude to turn them away? Or would our government let them eat out our substance in the name of humanitarianism? Quite a dramatic and ironic finale to the dystopia of the Welfare State. Our civilization overrun not by warrior Visigoths, but by unarmed beggars demanding their “fair share” of what has become our redistributive Victimocracy.

    If you want the book, you can get a free PDF copy at

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, the Fascist Messiah might or might not have the intestinal fortitude to stop them, but he would let them in anyway to further his agenda. On the other hand, the GOP House leadership might or might not want to let them in anyway to further the agenda of the cheap labor lobby, but wouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude to block them (at least once this became a liberal Cause).

  3. David Ray says:

    What’s sad is we know this book is prescient in that it’s already started.
    Back in 1940 if a pair of muslim trash had run over a British soldier and then hacked his head nearly off, they would have been killed and pulled apart.
    Instead they did it in 2013 and had passers-by contently listen as the scum chanted “allah Akbar”.
    Sad when a veteran like Lee Rigby can’t walk safe in his own streets of London. Even sadder when one learns of the timid & casual response to his murder.

    Me? I would’ve found a way to gauge their eyes, then find ways to deport any who showed even a scintilla of support for what they did. (Or would I have faced charges of “hate speech” like Geert Wilders?)

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, you probably would face accusations of “hate speech” for uttering such views. But strangely enough, when Muslims make even worse threats (and are likely to carry them out), no such accusation is made.

      • Karl Pentel says:

        Yes, sadly you are right! It is written: “Radical muslims want to kill you (and your family after raping the girls…)

        And moderate muslims want radical muslims to kill you…

  4. Karl Pentel says:

    Well, it is funny (not ha ha…) how this novel is becoming less fiction and more description day by day – at least from April 2015.

    You may safely ignore anything said by smug reviewers about The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail before this pivotal month!
    So what next? Read the book and you find out what is ahead for your grand-children! Especially your great grand-children regardless of race and religion.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, it was the invasion last year that inspired me to write the review because the book was finally coming true, at least in spirit. In the Mediterranean, we see the EU very reluctant to stop Muslim refugees even though the latter are perfectly willing to murder Christians. That comes vey close to matching the actual events of the novel.

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