August 16, 2006
According to recent reports, French politician Jean Marie Le Pen is being summoned to a French court to stand trial a second time for remarks made to a reporter from the rightwing newspaper Rivarol in January 2005.
The new suit for group defamation and, by implication, for criminally denying the official facts about the Holocaust that were issued by the international Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946, is being brought by the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees of France, an organization with long-standing and transparent connections to the French Left.
A convenient peg for suits of this kind is the Loi Gayssot, legislation, passed with the help of the Mitterand government in July 1990. It builds on a law against collective defamation going back to the early 1970s. This important law,—both sponsored by and named for a Jewish Communist deputy in the National Assembly, Jean-Claude Gayssot—criminalized speech that might offend self-designated victim minorities, while making sure that denials of Communist mass murder, however explicit, would be exempted from prosecution.
In a response to anti-Communist critics in the French Assembly in November 1997 (see Le Monde, November 17, 1997), French premier Lionel Jospin refused to condemn the mass killing done by the "anti-fascist" Joseph Stalin. Nonetheless, Jospin did not run the risk of being accused of a délit d'opinion (a crime of opinion). The premier, by this act, was not condoning anti-Semitic or anti-Islamic deeds or opinions but doing something deemed less reprehensible, refusing to be judgmental about Stalin's efforts to deal with a class enemy.
Although most of the Loi Gayssot designates and criminalizes hate speech against religious and ethnic groups, Article 9, Title 2 condemns specifically the public expression of views that conflict with the condemnation of genocide and crimes against humanity enumerated by the Nuremberg Tribunal. In this postwar judgment by, among others, Stalin's handpicked judges, only certain kinds of mass murder and violence could incur legal action. In fact, only those crimes that the Communist condemned as "fascist" would be subject to criminal prosecution.
If the Communists, who were the coalition allies of Jospin's Socialists, had nothing unkind to say against Stalin's or Mao's campaigns to rid their countries of "fascist" collaborators, what right then do French progressives have to raise objections?
In his response to the national Assembly, Jospin accused his critics of treating on an equal basis two "incommensurable phenomena": a set of not particularly blameworthy Communist blunders and the most evil of all evils, "fascist racism."
In Germany, such vile mistakes can bring legal actions in addition to professional ruination. Those with insufficiently anti-fascist opinions can be listed as a "danger to democracy" by the governmental Protectors of the Constitution or else be dragged into court for "trivializing the Holocaust." This last misstep might include paying excessive attention to Stalin's mass murders, which has been interpreted as deliberately diverting public attention from the inexpiable enormity of German fascist crimes.
Whatever may have been Le Pen's reason for uttering his statements— including an irresistible urge to rattle Jewish (and other leftist) practitioners of a double moral standard—his historical judgment is certainly defensible.
The Nazi occupation of France was not exceptional for twentieth-century occupations carried out by unfriendly invaders. A comparison with the Soviets' takeover of the Baltic countries may be instructive. There the French Left's "anti-fascist" former Big Brother, then allied to Hitler, succeeded in carrying out a far higher proportion of political murder and deportation than those committed in France during the German occupation.
Almost half of the Balts were deported and/or killed under Stalin, a figure that was reached in France only for foreign born Jews during the German Occupation. Most of the French Jewish indigenes (over 190,000) managed to escape with their lives, and the vast majority escaped deportation, largely because of French Christian assistance. Of the 330,000 Jews who were in France before the War, 170,000 stayed in France and almost all of them survived the Occupation. Moreover, the German occupation was far less destructive for French Christians than the German presence in Poland or Russia was for inhabitants there. And if one takes into account during WWII, the hideous slaughter wrought by the Japanese on the Chinese and Filipinos, or the far worse slaughter of Jews in the East than in France, Le Pen's statements were not as outrageous as one might guess from looking at the press.
Certainly they are not the sort of thing that a civilized country should throw someone in jail or threaten with a huge fine and public disgrace for uttering.
Note, Le Pen's assertions are also far less questionable as historical statements than the Holocaust-denial that they are imagined to illustrate. They should not be compared to those greatly reduced figures for the Holocaust that were associated with British historian David Irving, before his recent arrest and incarceration in anti-fascist Austria. This comparison is worth making, despite the fact that Irving's fate for his politically incorrect history was both outrageous and typical. It was outrageous, given the self-promotion of Western "liberal democracies," which have become controlled hothouses of politically correct opinion. And this jailing of an aged scholar for his historical judgment made in a different country at a different time is all too typical.
Such facts are, not surprisingly, the stuff of my last two books, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt and The Strange Death of Marxism, both of which deal with the political victory of political correctness.
What I argue in both—but more explicitly in my last book—is that the victory of multiculturalism in the "Western democracies" has given rise to a totalitarian domination as loathsome and intrusive as the real Marxist-Leninism that it is replacing. Whether it goes by the name of multiculturalism, sensitivity-training, or cultural Marxism, this combination of ideas and sentiments has taken over Western administrative states and their cultural industry.
There is no way of combating this danger, save for an angry mass rejection of what the destroyer preaches, and a disempowering of the mind-snatching states that impose "tolerance" by force and through public education. Immigration from the non-Western world and particularly of Muslims, who are now streaming into Western and Central Europe, has been a tool for breaking down the pitifully little that remains of Western social and cultural authorities.
My books try to understand immigration expansionists for what they are. Not all of them are misguided fools. Many of them dislike or fear what Western societies were and did in the past, and have set out to reconstruct it by supplanting its old core population. Others of those who are now engaged in this enterprise are, of course, useful idiots. Here, one thinks of the leadership of the Republican Party, who seem to be reaching out in the wrong direction even strategically, as Steve Sailer points out, by joining the vanguard of the immigration expansionists.
But the effect of such politics, no matter what the motivation, is to aggravate the trend toward cultural breakdown, thereby helping along the multicultural experiment that is now unfolding throughout the West.
The demographic erosion of Western peoples, the war waged by state and culture against inherited structures of authority, and the "celebration of diversity" all belong to the same process of orchestrated change that has contributed to the legal difficulties of Jean Le Pen.
It would be an oversimplification to present his problems exclusively as the result of Gallic chutzpah, the return of French Communism, or the never-ending parade of Jewish special pleaders who are eager to flail Christian countries for Nazi crimes.
My works try to contextualize such a development, and I apologize for the discomfort that they might cause movement conservatives who bother to read them. Like the majority of the opinion-makers here and in Europe, these "moderate" conservatives and Republican cheering galleries are on the wrong side of the real cultural war.