Dear Dr. MacDonald,
I stumbled upon your work today which, by a strange coincidence, is the same day you published a blog post about Alain Soral and the Dieudonné affair, issues I know a little about, having explored a good deal of Soral’s work and movement.
A small correction: it is not quite accurate to say that “Soral does not see Muslim immigration as a threat.” Soral is opposed to immigration both because it hurts lower-class French and because it leads to multiculturalism (métissage), but he is not anti-Muslim as such. As immigration has already occurred, he supports “equality and reconciliation” between (White, Catholic) French nationalists and “patriotic Muslims.” He sees Islam as something which can help keep Muslim youth away from social degeneracy and petty criminality, and he admires Islam’s conservatism, spiritualism and virility, a potentially powerful ally against the post-60s West’s hyper-individualism, Mammonism and effeminacy. Arabs and Muslims are also more likely to be anti-Zionist for the simple reason of their co-ethnics and/or co-religionists suffering in Palestine. Soral wants an “(ethnic) community rebalancing” in which the Jewish community would be less over-represented and the Muslim community would be strengthened.
He sees immigration in France as having been promoted by business elites for economic reasons and Jewish elites to weaken France’s ethnic cohesion. There is a vindictive strain among certain Jewish intellectuals, most obviously Bernard-Henri Lévy, who have not forgiven “France” as whole and the French people for the Vichy Regime, a Francophobic sentiment already condemned by the liberal patriot Raymond Aron in the 1980s. This sentiment appears to have gotten worse among many in the post-WWII generation of French Jews rather than the generation which actually experienced prewar antisemitism and Vichy. Soral sees a superficially “patriotic” anti-Muslim and anti-immigration turn among many French Jewish intellectuals (notably Alain Finkielkraut) for no other reason than they (probably correctly on the whole) perceive the new arrivals as more Judeocritical than the natives.
Soral’s reasons for leaving the Front National are complex. He appears to have been disliked by the apparatchiks who had been patiently waiting for a rare political office (he was catapulted to the Central Committee by Jean-Marie Le Pen himself) and left after being deprived a high enough position on the ballot lists for the European parliamentary elections to be electable. The difference on Marine Le Pen’s continuing “Muslim-baiting” is a major and substantive one, but he practically sees no alternative to the FN for a French patriot.
Soral himself is something of a phenomenon, difficult to summarize. The subject really deserves a solid book to explain it to Anglo audiences. The most striking thing for me is the extent to which there has been — from very different beginnings, national values and assumptions — convergence in his conclusions with Paleoconservatives and old school Progressives on both sides of the Atlantic around issues such as the Nation-State, national cohesion, and moderate protectionism (even if most would probably not share his Judeophobia).
The Dieudonné affair itself has been fascinating: Never has so much attention been brought to bear onto the infamous so-called “double standard” (deux poids, deux mesures) of the French media-political class in its treatments of Israel or antisemitism, as opposed to anti-black racism, Islamophobia, Christophobia or plain old Francophobia. A lot of people could not understand why such blatant preventative censorship and such incredibly disproportionate attention from the highest levels of the State was happening because of a Franco-Cameroonian comedian’s (non-televised) stand-up act, posing awkward questions which most French people have been taught from a young age not to ask.